How much did those 1,200 jobs cost? About $1.1 billion, Hufbauer and Lowry found, all borne by consumers who were forced to pay higher American prices for tires, prices which shot up still higher when freed from competition with China:
That's about $900,000 per job, and likely more given how generous the 1,200 jobs saved figure is. By contrast, one study found that the state aid provisions of the stimulus cost $28,571.43 per job-year saved, while another three studies put the overall cost-per-job for the bill at around $250,000. And the cost of the stimulus is ultimately borne through the income tax, which is highly progressive, while higher consumer prices are disproportionately borne by the poor.
Economists are unanimous that trade, and trade with China in particular, is good for the United States. And tire tariffs impede that. They were a raw deal for U.S. consumers, and a rawer deal for Chinese factory workers who were put out of jobs. Hufbauer and Lowry found that tire imports from China fell by 67 percent due to the tariff, which in addition to hurting U.S. consumers, surely hit Chinese manufacturing workers as well.