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: Trump doubles down on call for ‘simple but powerful tariff’ that has been slammed by economists

Former President Donald Trump is doubling down on his call for an aggressive tariff policy should he win a second term, defending his past actions and calling such levies “an important tool of U.S. national security and diplomacy.”

Trump, in a letter to the Wall Street Journal that appeared in print on Thursday, blasted an editorial that ran in the newspaper earlier in August, which was titled “Trump Courts a Global Trade War” and referenced his proposal for a 10% tariff on all foreign goods sold in the U.S. The editorial also highlighted research from the Tax Foundation that shows the Trump administration imposed nearly $80 billion in new taxes on Americans by slapping tariffs on thousands of products.

The former president, who is the leading GOP contender in polls for his party’s presidential nomination, wrote that the editorial “repeats debunked talking points from corporate-funded studies about our tariffs’ alleged impact on American consumers.”

Jesse Solis, a spokesperson for the Tax Foundation, told MarketWatch in an email: “We stand by our research.”

The Trump campaign has also slammed separate research from the same organization that concluded the former president’s proposal to put a 10% tariff on all imports would amount to a tax hike of more than $300 billion a year on U.S. consumers. The nonpartisan think tank has generally supported lower taxes.

The Big Number: Trump’s proposal of 10% tariff would be $300 billion tax on Americans, think tank says

In his letter, Trump argues for what he calls a “simple but powerful tariff on most foreign products” and says he is the only presidential candidate “who believes in true economic nationalism.”

The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch share common ownership.

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