As President Donald Trump escalated the more than yearlong trade dispute between the US and China this summer, Americans paid a record amount in tariffs.

Businesses and consumers in the US paid $6.8 billion in tariffs this July , according to the free-trade advocacy groups Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and the Trade Partnership. That was the highest monthly total in US history and a 62% increase from the same period a year earlier.

"You can't budget for a double-digit tariff increase, and you can't plan a business when you're living tweet-by-tweet," said Jonathan Gold, the spokesperson for Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. "The administration needs to use upcoming negotiations to end a trade war that truly has no winners."

The month of record tariff revenue came before significant escalations between the US and China, which the White House said were necessary to pressure China to change unfair trade practices. Both sides increased tariffs on thousands of each other's products this month, targeting far more consumer imports than in previous tranches.

Trump acknowledged in August for the first time that the cost of its tariffs could fall on Americans, delaying a portion of them until after the holiday shopping season. He has also been briefed on a proposal to lower taxes by the amount raised in tariffs, though any such legislation would face an uphill battle in Congress.

The July figures were slightly higher than those reported by the government. In its latest monthly budget statement , the Treasury Department said the US collected $6.4 billion in customs duties.

Dan Anthony, the vice president of the Trade Partnership, said tariff figures can vary because they are recorded by multiple departments and subject to revisions.

"The Tariff Tracker uses Census' calculated duties data because they are the only publicly available figures that contain the necessary product and country details for analyzing sector trends, state breakdowns, etc.," Anthony said.

The Treasury Department is set to release official tariff figures for August on Thursday.

Read more: A majority of Americans think a recession will strike in the next year and they're blaming Trump's trade war

NOW WATCH: 7 lesser-known benefits of Amazon Prime

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Trump calls Fed officials 'Boneheads' as he demands zero or negative interest rates