Trump's trade war may soon hit consumers' wallets and paychecks

The U.S. is in a full-blown trade war now — and your wallet and paycheck may soon see the effects.

American consumers can expect higher prices and diminished economic opportunity if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat of levying 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods and China responds in kind, as it has vowed to do, experts say.

The latest salvo comes in the form of a 205-page list of proposed items published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Products that could be targeted include critical farm machinery parts, consumer electronics and aesthetic goods, like ornamental fish and antiques.

RELATED: Impact of trade tensions between US and China

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Impact of trade tensions between US and China
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Impact of trade tensions between US and China

Head chef Liang Xin poses with a piece of beef imported from the U.S. in the kitchen at Wolfgang's, a high-end steak house in East Beijing's Sanlitun district, China, April 6, 2018. Liang said U.S. beef has always been limited in China, so he doesn't know how customers would react if the restaurant has to raise prices.

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Liu Anqi rolls dough in flour made from imported grain at the baking studio she runs with friends, in Beijing, China, April 12, 2018. Liu has just opened a bakery in Beijing with her friend. She also teaches customers how to make cakes with a brand of flour that uses only wheat from the United States and Canada. "Flour is one of the most important ingredients in baking and its quality varies with different brands," Liu said, adding that finding a new brand would be time-consuming and higher taxes on this wheat would force her to raise cake prices and tuition fees, which could turn customers away. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

A detail of the Harley-Davidson brand name is photographed on the motorcycle of Guo Qingshan in his village outside Beijing, China, April 7, 2018. "I love the sound of the engine and the muscle of the motor. When I ride it, I feel free and proud," Guo said. However, Guo has his limits. If prices rise, Guo said he wouldn't contemplate buying another Harley. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Fried vegetables are seen in the kitchen of the restaurant where chef Liu Ming works, in Beijing, China, April 11, 2018. Liu said the oil that his restaurant uses is produced with soybeans imported from the United States, and the business won't change the brand even if prices rise. "We use this oil because it gives the food a bright colour and does not leave a strange smell or taste," he said. "We don't know what will happen to our dishes if we change the oil."

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Xie Guoqiang, who runs the Vin Place wine and liquors store, poses for a photograph inside the shop in Beijing, China, April 10, 2018. Xie said in an interview that the tariffs would have little impact on his business, as the shop mostly imports wine and liquors from France, Chile, Austria and Argentina.

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

A bottle of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey is seen on a shelf at the Vin Place wine and liquors store in Beijing, China April 10, 2018. Xie Guoqiang, who runs Vin Place, said in an interview that the tariffs would have little impact on his business, as the shop mostly imports wine and liquors from France, Chile, Austria and Argentina.

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

Liu Ming, a chef at a Sichuan restaurant in Beijing, poses for a picture at the back door of the kitchen where he works in Beijing, China, April 11, 2018. Liu said the oil that his restaurant uses is produced with soybeans imported from the United States, and the business won't change the brand even if prices rise. "We use this oil because it gives the food a bright colour and does not leave a strange smell or taste," he said. "We don't know what will happen to our dishes if we change the oil." 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Liu Anqi uses flour made from imported grain at the baking studio she runs with friends, in Beijing, China, April 12, 2018. Liu has just opened a bakery in Beijing with her friend. She also teaches customers how to make cakes with a brand of flour that uses only wheat from the United States and Canada. "Flour is one of the most important ingredients in baking and its quality varies with different brands," Liu said, adding that finding a new brand would be time-consuming and higher taxes on this wheat would force her to raise cake prices and tuition fees, which could turn customers away. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

A bottle of oil is seen in the kitchen of the restaurant where chef Liu Ming works, in Beijing, China, April 11, 2018. Liu said the oil that his restaurant uses is produced with soybeans imported from the United States, and the business won't change the brand even if prices rise. "We use this oil because it gives the food a bright colour and does not leave a strange smell or taste," he said. "We don't know what will happen to our dishes if we change the oil." 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Zang Yi poses for a picture as her Tesla car is charging at a charging point in Beijing, China, April 13, 2018. Zang said if the trade tensions resulted in pricier U.S. imports, she wouldn't consider American brands when the time comes to buy a new car. "With the tariff, I would have to pay tax of 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan if I were to buy a new Tesla," she said. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Zang Yi charges her Tesla car at a charging point in Beijing, China, April 13, 2018. Zang said if the trade tensions resulted in pricier U.S. imports, she wouldn't consider American brands when the time comes to buy a new car. "With the tariff, I would have to pay tax of 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan if I were to buy a new Tesla," she said. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

A Chinese woman tastes wine during a wine seminar in Beijing, China, April 14, 2018.

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Shan Yuliang, salesperson at a cigarette and wine shop, poses with a carton of Marlboro cigarettes in Beijing, China, April 8, 2018. "The moment I saw the news about the trade war on the internet, I felt something big was coming. Previously I would not think about what brand to buy. Now I will give it a second thought and avoid buying American products to defend my country," Shan said. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Wine tasting teacher Li Yangang poses for a picture during a wine seminar in Beijing, China, April 14, 2018. Li said in an interview that reduced sales of American wine in China would not hurt the local market because of its relatively small market share. "Australian wine and French wine would have a bigger impact," he said. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Cartons of Marlboro cigarettes are seen stacked up on a shelf between Chinese cigarettes at a cigarette and wine shop in Beijing, China, April 8, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Student He Bingzhang lights a Marlboro cigarette in Beijing, China, April 8, 2018. "I don't think the trade war would change my behaviour. I don't smoke a lot, probably one pack a month. Even if it costs 100 yuan, I would still buy Marlboro because it is affordable," He said. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Student He Bingzhang poses for a picture as he smokes a Marlboro cigarette in Beijing, China, April 8, 2018. "I don't think the trade war would change my behaviour. I don't smoke a lot, probably one pack a month. Even if it costs 100 yuan, I would still buy Marlboro because it is affordable," He said. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Guo Qingshan poses on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in his village outside Beijing, China, April 7, 2018. "I love the sound of the engine and the muscle of the motor. When I ride it, I feel free and proud," Guo said. However, Guo has his limits. If prices rise, Guo said he wouldn't contemplate buying another Harley. 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Beef imported from the U.S. is seen at Wolfgang's, a high-end steak house in East Beijing's Sanlitun district, China, April 6, 2018. A 15-kg whole cut of beef from the United States is around 20 percent more expensive than its Australian counterpart, said Daniel Sui, deputy general manager at Wolfgang's. "Customers like U.S. beef because it tastes juicy and tender, but Wolfgang's only sells around seven to eight pieces of U.S. imported beef steak each day," Sui said. "The limited supply is because the Chinese government bans feed additives and only 5 percent of U.S. beef is qualified for export." 

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

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“Tariffs are beginning to take a toll on American businesses, workers, farmers and consumers as overseas markets close to American-made products and prices increase here at home,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue in a statement. “Tariffs are simply taxes that raise prices for everyone. Tariffs that beget tariffs that beget more tariffs only lead to a trade war that will cost American jobs and economic growth.”

Experts say prices at the supermarket, as well as at clothing and electronic stores that carry the targeted goods, could rise if retailers decide to pass the increased costs down to consumers. Or shoppers may gradually see prices everywhere rise as stores try to spread out the damage. The impact on each price tag may ultimately be small, but it all adds up.

"Few people will notice an increase in the price of goods on the order of a tenth of a cent," Sharon Traiberman, assistant professor of economics at NYU who researches international trade and labor economics, said in an email. "So it’s not about everyone feeling worse off, it’s that despite the small impact per person, this is very costly in the aggregate."

If businesses try to cover some of the costs themselves, the effect is less visible but potentially more pernicious.

"That’s less money to hire workers, less money to invest in new facilities," said Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer and adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank funded by the Koch brothers.

RELATED: Thousands protest Trump in Belgium ahead of NATO summit

27 PHOTOS
Thousands protest Trump in Belgium ahead of NATO summit
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Thousands protest Trump in Belgium ahead of NATO summit
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
A participant holds the portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump as protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
A mock figurine depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is seen as protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal TEMPLATE OUT
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. The banner reads: "No to NATO. No to War". REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal TEMPLATE OUT
Two mock figurines depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel are seen as protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. The writing on the placard reads, 'NATO, we don't want it'. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protesters take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
A demonstrator holds a placard as protesters prepare to take part in a march against the NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Protestors carry placards as they take part in a rally in Brussels on July 7, 2018, against the forthcoming NATO summit and scheduled visit of US President Donald Trump on July 11 and 12. (Photo by NICOLAS MAETERLINCK / BELGA / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
July 7th, Brussels. President Donald Trump will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting scheduled for July 11-12, where it's going to be on the table more military expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. This Saturday thousands of people gathering in Brussels to protest organized by the Belgium platform 'Trump not welcome here'. According to this platform, 'we don't want to take part in this military bid at the expense of social protection, tackling climate change, fighting poverty, a humane refugee policy and a diverse and inclusive society without racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia'. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Trump has said he is protecting American jobs and industries and safeguarding national security. History has shown, however, that while protectionist measures aim to protect industries and employment, they actually end up slowing economic growth.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 raised protectionist tariffsagainst over 900 goods in order to help with the Depression. U.S. industries enjoyed a short-term bump, but the Gross Domestic Product by 1933 had fallen to $56 billion, down nearly half from $103 billion in 1929.

Farmers interviewed by NBC News say they have faith that the trade war is a tactic: short-term pain to get to what they see as long-overdue trade rebalancing. Illinois soy farmer Matt Swanson cited in an online message China's history of using tariffs for reasons American farmers felt were in bad faith, like a 13-year ban on American beef due to mad cow concerns and overly restricting genetically modified corn imports.

But even if Trump succeeds in his stated goal of using the trade war in order to get to a free trade deal, once overseas buyers switch their business elsewhere it can be hard to earn back, even after the trade barriers fall, trade experts say. And by creating opportunities for other countries to ramp up production, new competition is created that could outlive any trade dispute.

"You're removing money from consumers pockets that could be spent on goods and services. That’s money you can’t spend on vacation, it disappears," Linciome said. "Americans will have less disposable income. That’s less money they can put toward their child's college account."

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