Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen knocks Donald Trump after he proposes replacing income tax with tariffs

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen criticized former President Donald Trump after he floated replacing at least parts of U.S. income taxes with higher tariffs on imported goods.

Trump outlined the proposal during a Thursday visit to Capitol Hill where he met with Republican lawmakers and tried to unify GOP leaders ahead of the July Republican National Convention, according to Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

But Yellen during an appearance on ABC's “This Week” immediately rejected the potential economic plan.

“Donald Trump floated an idea of replacing all federal income taxes with high tariffs,” host Jonathan Karl said. “Any way that that is remotely feasible?”

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“It would require tariffs well over 100%,” Yellen responded. “The impact would be to make life unaffordable for working class Americans, and it would harm American businesses.”

Some political observers pointed out that Trump's suggestion about U.S. tariffs and income taxes come as Biden’s appeal among voters without college degrees or living in households earning $50,000 a year or less has fallen. Tariffs were also a significant part of Trump’s economic approach as president, and he enacted tariffs of up to 25% on many imported Chinese goods during his time in office.

However, experts on both sides of the aisle have raised questions about Trump’s policy proposal. For example, a report from the think tank Tax Foundation argued that imposing new tariffs may actually harm working class Americans and risk hitting international trade.

Contributing: Reuters

Maya Homan is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAY, focusing on Georgia politics. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, as @MayaHoman.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Janet Yellen slams Donald Trump idea to raise tariffs, cut income tax