As I understand the point of tariffs is to make a product so expensive that the people would switch their buying habits from imported to domestically made. Essentially a tax to consumers to force higher prices on imported goods. For example, we increase tariffs on the Chinese washing machines, the Chinese manufacturer raises prices (to keep profits), US consumers switch to buying US made machines because they are now cheaper.
So, if that is true, why would Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross keep making comments that consumers won't see a cost increase (or at least very minimal)? I watched him again this morning commenting on the tariffs being spread over thousands of items, won't have a impact on prices? If the consumer is not going to change buying habits, what good are the tariffs going to do? Now, if the tariffs jack up the prices by 20-30%, maybe habits might change, but then, that would be political suicide. Then again, maybe tariffs that won't have any real effect are for political gain? Or maybe just a fundraiser for the government and not really to assist domestic products?