Tariffs are a ‘tax’ on American consumers: Ron Paul

US consumers are footing the bill for Donald Trump’s tariffs on goods from Washington’s economic rivals, Ron Paul has told RT, describing the White House policy as senseless and essentially a “tax” on Americans.

Commenting on Trump’s performance during the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, the former congressman said that the US president’s propensity for tariffs ultimately hurts Americans, who end up paying more for imported goods.

What some people don’t understand is that, if we put tariffs on our imports, our consumers have to pay that. So, it’s a tax on our own people and it doesn’t make any sense.

Paul also criticized Washington for its liberal use of “very punitive” sanctions.

“Sanctions are way overused, and when sanctions become very serious, it’s war-like,” he remarked to RT. “I know the American people wouldn’t put up with sanctions against us if we couldn’t come and go as we please with our imports and exports. If someone did that to us we’d be pretty unhappy.”

However, the outspoken libertarian welcomed Trump’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue with Russia and other nations during the Osaka summit.

“I think communication between Trump and [Russian president Vladimir] Putin is excellent and I just wish we had more of that and less of these built-up animosities,” he said, adding that he hoped the US president would continue using diplomatic avenues to resolve international disputes, and reject the advice of his more hawkish advisers.

An outspoken critic of US interventionism, Paul argued that embracing free trade would help the United States avoid costly and unnecessary wars.

“I follow the adage that the more you trade with people, the less you’re likely to fight with people. So I don’t like tariffs.”