Some are concerned over the likelihood of the U.S. adopting trade tariffs on imports from China. This policy option would risk retaliatory measures and hurt U.S. exports, a blow to growth momentum, while making imports more expensive in the U.S., fueling inflation pressure. (emphasis added)
If there is one idea on which all orthodox economists concur, it is that tariffs raise prices, that protectionism, without exception, is inflationary. Professor Samuelson, for instance, argues that tariffs reduce labor productivity and enhance “the cost of living” (1976, p. 694). In the words of Coughlin et al., “protectionist policies increase prices” (1991, p. 25). According to the 1992 Economic Report of the President, “Trade barriers not only raise the prices of imported goods to consumers but also the prices of domestically produced goods” (p. 196).
I understand that tariffs reduce labor productivity by disallowing countries to produce in accordance with their comparative advantage. However, how does this lead to inflation? Is it because a decrease in goods produced plus the amount of money kept the same leads to inflation?