WASHINGTON - Tariffs enacted by the Trump Administration have brought in more than $3.5 billion so far, through Aug. 28.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection provided the following information on tariffs to the office of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.:
• Tariffs on washing machines, washing machine parts and solar panels had brought in $312,298,846.68.
• The Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum had brought in $1,836,974,962.09 and $535,287,331.11, respectively.
• The Section 301 tariffs on goods from China had brought in $845,850,746.44.
The money goes into the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.
Heitkamp has introduced legislation to direct funds collected from tariffs on imported goods toward trade promotion programs that help U.S. farmers and ranchers, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"If it's one thing this trade war has taught us it's that we do need to open our trade markets globally," Heitkamp says.
She says the bill came out of discussions with Bustos in which they reflected on conversations with farmers about where the tariff money would go. They decided it would be better for that money to go into mitigating the consequences of the tariffs.
Though $3.5 billion sounds like a lot of money, Heitkamp says that since it isn't going back to the people affected by the tariffs it doesn't help the "real pain for North Dakota farmers and ranchers."
"If you look at what it's costing our farmers, it doesn't come close to making them whole," she says.
The bill would apply to any funds collected after its passage.