Former Vice President Mike Pence criticized Donald Trump’s proposal to impose a universal 10% tariff on imported goods if he is reelected in 2024. Pence’s GOP presidential campaign issued a one-page memo slamming the idea as a “middle-class tax increase” and warned that it would exacerbate inflation and benefit adversaries like China.
The memo takes a direct shot at Trump, Pence’s former boss and the current front-runner in the Republican presidential primary. Pence’s campaign is attempting to distinguish itself from Trump’s current agenda and highlight the differences between their approaches.
The campaign document cited an analysis by the nonprofit Tax Foundation, which estimated that Trump’s proposed tariff would raise taxes on American consumers by over $300 billion annually and result in the elimination of more than 500,000 full-time jobs.
Pence’s critique of Trump’s tariff plan may preview how he and his campaign will approach the second primary debate. Trump skipped the first debate but is planning to counterprogram the second debate by delivering a speech to current and former union workers in Detroit.
Trump had previously discussed the idea of imposing a 10% tariff during an interview and argued that it would generate substantial revenue without significantly hindering business operations.
Pence’s campaign argued that Trump’s tariff plan would disproportionately affect low and middle-income Americans by raising prices. They also criticized it as flawed foreign policy, asserting that it would punish allies and benefit adversaries like China.
The debate within the Republican Party over trade policies and tariffs reflects ongoing divisions over the direction of the party and its approach to economic issues.
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