New numbers show big impact of Trump tariffs

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. — New numbers show the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade war on Washington State.

“I grew up in this business. I was 14 when we first started,” said Adrian Taylor, the owner of the Ben Franklin stores in Bonney Lake and Monroe. He sells Christmas merchandise, most all of it imported from China and subject to an additional 25 percent tariff in January.

He says he'll have to absorb the extra cost on many items during the transition.

“You never put a higher price over a lower one. That's what dad said and that's the rule.”

Taylor was one of the speakers at Wednesday's town hall organized by the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Campaign.

The campaign's new numbers on the Trump tariffs show they've cost Washington consumers $100 million so far. Washington businesses face $103 million in retaliation from other countries and Washington exports are down 28 percent.

Much of that loss is in agricultural products such as Washington apples.

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“We feel like we're going to lose about $130 million of apple money and that's a considerable hit, not only to us but also to our labor force,” said Fred Davis vice president of the Washington Fruit and Produce Company in Yakima and a member of the Washington Apple Commission.

Taylor says sooner or later, consumers will feel the impact of the tariffs.

“Eventually, the consumer has to pay, and we'll try to negotiate around that as best we can.”

He's written to ask Trump to stop the tariff war-- but he’s still supportive of the president.

“I think he's done a lot of good things for the country and made some very good decisions. This, I'm not sure that I'm in favor of.”

So far, negotiations have failed to reach an agreement that would keep tariffs from going up still further in January.