55% of Imports are Inputs, Not Finished Goods
MP: Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis data, the chart above shows import data by "End-use Category," and confirms that 55% of imports to the U.S. ($504 billion) were either "Industrial Supplies and Materials" ($299 billion) like iron, steel, rubber, aluminum, tin, lumber, newsprint, chemicals, etc. or "Capital Goods, Except Automotive" ($205 billion) like industrial machinery, engines, tools, instruments, etc. The other 45% ($411 billion) of imports were consumer goods and food.
In other words, U.S. companies spend about $100 billion more on imported inputs ($504 billion) than consumers spend on final goods ($411 billion). This distinction is important because, when most people think about imports, we think about finished, retail consumer goods like Toyotas from Japan, toys or big screen TVs from China, etc., and don't realize that the majority of imports are inputs, raw materials and capital equipment for U.S. firms. Raising trade barriers with protectionist tariffs would create significant harm for U.S. companies and their employees by artificially raising the price of their inputs, putting them at a competitive disadvantage in an increasingly competitive global economy.