One map shows why Trump's trade war with China could be a disaster for average Americans

  • President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is ongoing, with tariffs flying back and forth.
  • While US tariffs currently apply to $US34 billion worth of Chinese goods coming into the US, Trump has threatened to apply tariffs to every import from China.
  • The trade war could have significant economic consequences, as China is the largest source of imports for 23 states and among the top five sources for 47.
  • It could also have political consequences, as 15 of the 23 states that count China as their top import source voted for Trump in 2016.

There’s no clear resolution on the horizon for President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, and many states could soon start feeling the pain.

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a 25% tariff on $US16 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US, adding to the $US34 billion worth of Chinese goods already subject to tariffs. Trump has also begun to move forward with tariffs on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and he has effectively threatened that every item from the country could eventually be subject to tariffs.

Tariffs act as a tax on goods coming into the country, meaning goods coming into the US from China would be hit with an additional 25% duty. That makes those goods more expensive, which, in theory, would drive US companies to buy non-Chinese products.

Given that Chinese goods represented just over 21% of all imports coming into the US in 2017, an escalation of the trade war could push up prices for many goods. While the disruptions are likely to be widespread, some states may face more problems than others.

According to data from the US Census Bureau, China is a key source of imports for many states:

  • For 23 states, China is the top source of imports.
  • For 45 states, China is in the top three.
  • China is among the top five import sources for 47 states. (North Dakota, Louisiana, and Delaware are the only exceptions.)
  • Of the 23 states that count China as their largest source of imports, Trump won 15 in the 2016 presidential election.

So far, Trump’s supporters have stood beside him amid the trade disputes. But growing concern from businesses and consumers, as well as layoffs and increased prices for goods, could start to take a toll.

Biggest import trade partner state mapAndy Kiersz/Business Insider

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