Tariffs Starting to Slow Economic Growth, American Trucking Association Economist Says

The trade dispute between the U.S. and China is beginning to slow economic growth and could cut into the surging profits enjoyed by the trucking industry this year.

That’s the analysis of Bob Costello, the chief economist for the American Trucking Associations who heads the group’s international trade arm. Costello made his remarks at the ATA Management Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Texas, earlier this week, touching on myriad issues affecting the future of the trucking industry, including tariffs.

“The longer the tariffs go on, the more impact they will have on the economy,” Costello said. “Hopefully, it’s a negotiating tactic.”

But, he said, if the tariffs on steel, aluminum and a range of other products jump from the current 10 percent to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019, as threatened by President Donald Trump, the impact could reverse economic gains from business tax cuts that took effect this year.