Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

U.S. Mall Workers Could be Accidental Victims in Trump Trade War


Donald Trump's promise to raise tariffs on imports from China and Mexico could trickle down to service-sector workers who may not even realize that their jobs are connected to changing political winds, according to new research.

More than a million shopping mall and restaurant jobs would be lost if the Republican presidential candidate's plan, which puts a 45 percent tariff on non-oil imports from China and 35 percent from Mexico, is successful, according to a report published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Trump's policies would hit lower-skilled and lower-wage jobs, sending ripples through the economies as local factories serving the export market or plants relying on imported goods would be shuttered. That would damp retail spending, leading to an estimated 568,000 jobs lost in retail and wholesale trade, and another 459,000 jobs lost within restaurants and food and beverage stores by 2019, according to the study.

 "His policies place at risk the livelihoods of millions of Americans, most of whom probably do not think of their jobs as tied to international trade," wrote Marcus Noland, executive vice president and director of studies at Peterson and one of the authors of the report.

States that would be hit the hardest include Washington, California, Massachusetts and Michigan, according to the report, which was co-authored by Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Sherman Robinson and Tyler Moran.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has clamored for the enforcement of existing trade laws to prevent abuse from trading partners, during her campaign. While she has expressed skepticism, her proposals on trade would inflict less pain to the economy than Trump's, the report says. She has also called for changes in the tax code to prevent the offshoring of jobs.