No one wants to pay higher taxes, but we all understand the need when there is a good cause. Therefore, consumers shouldn't have any issues paying an extra $20 billion a year ($200 billion over a 10-year budget horizon) to force China to pay Boeing, Pfizer, Microsoft and other major US corporations more money for their patent and copyright monopolies.

This is explicitly the story, as the Post reports:

"Administration officials said the tariff fight is aimed at forcing China to stop stealing American intellectual property and to abandon policies that effectively force U.S. companies to surrender their trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market.

"'These practices are an existential threat to America’s most critical comparative advantage and the future of our economy,' said Robert E. Lighthizer, the president’s chief trade negotiator."

Of course, the cost to US consumers is likely to be far more than $20 billion a year if the Trump administration wins its trade war, since it will mean that the prices of goods and services we import from China will be higher because they have to pay more money to US corporations for these intellectual property claims.

However, this will create some good-paying jobs. There will be more demand for economists doing research on the causes of inequality.



In a rush, I followed standard media practice instead of good reporting. The proposed $20 billion in tariffs comes to roughly $150 per family per year.