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Expand chart
Data: Tariffs Hurt the Heartland; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While news that President Trump plans to postpone the latest round of tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports for 2 weeks will likely soothe the market, his tariffs have already done a number on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: "The data speaks for itself," Torsten Slok, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities, says in a note to clients. "The trade war is having a serious negative impact on the U.S. economy."

  • Slok's note includes data from recent months detailing clear downturns in several areas, including: fixed investment and capital expenditures, CEO and business confidence, the percentage of firms planning to hire, consumer goods spending, job openings, and average hours worked, among others.

Threat level: The trade war with China has already reduced U.S. employment by 300,000 jobs, compared with likely employment levels absent the trade war, Moody’s Analytics estimates.

  • That number will rise to about 450,000 by the end of the year if there's no change in policy and could top 900,000 by the end of 2020, the firm’s chief economist, Mark Zandi, told Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman.

The big picture: The most damaging part of a trade war is not the tariffs, but the costs associated with the uncertainty it creates. However, the tariffs themselves also are making a dent.

  • The total amount of tariffs paid to the U.S. Treasury has skyrocketed because not only have the tariffs increased, both U.S. and Chinese companies are scrambling to ship more goods to get out in front of further tariff increases.
  • That has pushed the total U.S. importers paid for tariffs to an all-time high of $6.8 billion in July alone, according to data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, an alliance of trade groups opposing the measures.

Between the lines: Trump’s tariff policy has reduced the economic benefits from programs like tax cuts and deregulation that had a positive effect on the economy, David G. Tuerck and William Burke write in a recent paperfrom the National Foundation for American Policy.

  • They estimate tariffs will cost U.S. households $2,000 each by next year.
  • They also note that the positive impact of deregulation has been cut by 29% because of the tariffs, "and the additional anticipated tariffs on Chinese imports will eliminate all remaining economic gains from the administration’s deregulation actions."

The bottom line: Some have argued that because manufacturing and trade are such small pieces of the U.S. economy the trade war would have a negligible impact. But it's no longer just the manufacturing sector that's hurting as a result of the trade war — harm is now being inflicted and felt throughout the economy.

Go deeper: Trump delays tariff increases on Chinese goods ahead of trade talks

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.