Nikki Haley ad misleads on Donald Trump's 10% tariff proposal | Fact check

The claim: Trump proposed a 10% 'across-the-board' tax increase if re-elected

A Feb. 13 Facebook video (direct link, archive link) shared by Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley claims former President Donald Trump's re-election would only bring "more chaos."

"What is Trump saying he'll actually do in office?" a narrator asks over black-and-white clips of Trump. "A 10% across-the-board tax increase."

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Our rating: False

Trump proposed placing a 10% tariff on imported goods in a 2023 interview, not an "across-the-board" tax.

Trump proposed tariff, not widespread tax

Text in the ad attributes the tax claim to a Jan. 22 CNBC article titled, "Trump’s proposed 10% tariff plan would ‘shake up every asset class,’ strategist says."

That article focuses on an Aug. 18, 2023, interview Trump did with Fox News anchor Larry Kudlow in which the former president proposed placing a 10% tariff on all imported products as a way to raise revenue in the U.S.

"I think when companies come in and they dump their products in the United States, they should pay automatically, let's say a 10% tax," he said in the interview. "That money would be used to pay off debt."

Trump didn't propose an "across-the-board" tax in the interview, nor is such a tax mentioned in the CNBC article.

Fact check: Yes, Nikki Haley is eligible to run for president

Both Pope McCorkle, a professor of the practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, and Caroline Bruckner, managing director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University, told USA TODAY Haley's ad misrepresented Trump's proposal.

"This tariff could ultimately be paid by U.S. consumers of foreign goods, and it could cause a trade war and increase prices," Bruckner said in an email. "The higher prices would feel like a tax to consumers, if importers passed on the tariff to consumers in the former of higher prices. But it’s important to clarify that a tariff on goods is not the same thing as an income or even sales tax imposed by the federal or state government on taxpayers."

McCorkle said this is not the first time tariffs have been falsely linked to consumer taxes, noting the idea's roots in American populism and some conservative think tanks, such as the Tax Foundation which estimated the proposed tariff would effectively raise taxes on U.S. consumers by more than $300 billion a year.

When asked for a comment on the claim, AnnMarie Graham-Barnes, a spokesperson for Haley, told USA TODAY in an email that "a tariff is a tax on imported goods and economists agree."

But that's moving the goalposts on this claim: the ad doesn't mention the word tariff, it just says across the board. And Graham-Barnes offered no evidence of Trump proposing an across-the-board tax increase of 10%.

She then linked to articles by the Washington Post and the Tax Foundation, which both report Trump proposed a tariff on imported goods, not a tax. also debunked the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump 10% tariff not 'across the board' as Haley ad says | Fact check