Fox & Friends hosts use threat of inflation to campaign against Biden's tariff policies – just don't ask them about Trump's plans

Donald Trump has proposed a 10 percent across-the-board tariff on all imports, which could raise prices for many consumer goods

Fox News wants you to think President Joe Biden's proposed tariffs to protect American industries from Chinese steel and aluminum dumping are a threat to consumers — just don't ask the network about former President Donald Trump’s proposal to slap 10 percent across-the-board tariffs on all imported goods, which economists say would dramatically increase prices.

During the April 17 edition of Fox & Friends, the co-hosts reported the supposed inflationary effects of Biden’s proposal to implement tariffs against certain Chinese products that the White House says undercut American industries. But they didn’t mention Trump’s much broader plan for a 10% tariff on all imported goods, which experts fear could harm the entire U.S. economy.

White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich introduced Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he planned to discuss increasing targeted tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum from 7.5% to 25%, before pivoting to concerns about price increases that could stem from the tariff increase.

“Officials have downplayed concerns that Biden’s call for more tariffs on Chinese steel could lead to higher inflation,” she noted, adding, “But consumers will ultimately pay any tariffs on imports.” Heinrich concluded that Biden’s approach was “largely in line with Trump's approach to economic competition with China,” but she failed to mention either of Trump’s proposals for severe import restrictions, including a 60% tariff on all products from China (not just steel and aluminum goods) and a 10% tariff on all imports.

Video file

Citation From the April 17, 2024, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

Biden’s tariff proposal came after a coalition of five major labor unions filed a petition urging the Biden administration to review Chinese subsidies to its own shipbuilding industry and the global market surplus of metals driven by Chinese overproduction.

Crucially, while the tariff increase could be seen as a political and diplomatic message, Bloomberg reported that “there is effectively no market impact” from Biden’s plan, which his administration says will protect American industries. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the Biden administration believes these tariffs “would only affect 0.6% of U.S. demand for steel.”

Unlike Biden’s tariff plan, which is specifically targeted at subsidized Chinese industries, Trump has made an across-the-board 10% tariff on all imported goods a key component of his campaign. Economists from across the political spectrum agree that Trump’s tariff threats, coupled with his plans for mass deportations and draconian immigration restrictions, pose a significant risk to American consumers both by increasing their own tax bill by “more than $300 billion a year” and by “triggering retaliatory tax increases by international trade partners on U.S. exports.” An analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund found that Trump's proposals would effectively increase taxes by $1,500 annually for a typical American household

Fox News viewers weren’t informed of these facts this morning, but co-host Brian Kilmeade did find the time to chime in with his misinformed opinion of Biden’s decision in January 2021 to halt approval for new natural gas leases.

“Pennsylvania has a huge problem with — he froze natural gas leases,” he said.

Contrary to Kilmeade’s claims, Pennsylvania remains America’s second-largest producer of natural gas (trailing only Texas), and America as a whole produced a record output of oil and gas last year. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, "Pennsylvania natural gas production changed little in 2022” after Biden’s leasing freeze.