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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

15 mins ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

48 mins ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.

Stuck jet stream brings blowtorch December in Lower 48, frigid Alaska

Short-term climate outlook for Dec. 13-19, 2021, from the Climate Prediction Center at NOAA. (NOAA/CPC)

The Lower 48 states have seen record-shattering warmth so far this December, with temperatures running as high as 35°F above average for this time of year. The warmth has been so pronounced that during the weekend, brush fires broke out in a snowless, unusually mild Denver metro area.

The big picture: The jet stream, which is a river of air that rides at about 30,000 feet along the temperature contrast between air masses, steering storms as it goes, has been stuck in a position well north of the continental U.S., keeping storms and cold weather at bay.