How Would President Trump’s Tariffs Impact Small Business?

March 7, 2018

NSBA asked its members, here’s what they said.

Charles E. “Chip” Greene
Greene & Associates, Inc.
Plumbing/HVAC Contractor
Macon, Georgia
“The tariffs will impact prices of hoods we purchase from steel pipe to HVAC equipment. And domestic manufacturers of steel will raise their price not because of increased cost but because of the tariff placed on import steel and aluminum.”

Richard Garber
Kelsifahr, Inc.
Industrial Heating Components
Minneapolis, Minnesota
“The President’s proposed steel/aluminum tariff has the potential to be disastrous since the assumption that steel prices will rise globally is probably valid. If his actions truly ignite a trade war, I expect our two largest customers’ sales to decrease as they are both major exporters and large users of steel and aluminum. Additionally, our largest supplier is Canadian and also a large consumer of steel, and we have already seen the effect of uncertainty on our customers’ buying patterns.”

Andrew Berman
Spectrum Printing & Graphics
Commercial Printer
Rockville, Maryland
“We utilize a large quantity of aluminum printing plates in the printing process that are manufactured in France. There are NO domestic sources for these plates. This is a cost that we cannot pass along to our customers because it is one that is transparent to them and they would not be willing to pay more without a very detailed and complicated explanation. This will severely impact our business.”

Corey Merz
Meyer Ice Cream
Manufacturer of Soft Serve Ice Cream Machines
New Albany, Indiana
“The tariffs on steel and aluminum would definitely increase the cost of the products we build and that cost would be passed on. However if this would create jobs in the US I would not have a problem paying a little bit more for material.”

Dave Edelman
e CNC, Inc.
Machine Shop / Aerospace Industry
McMinnville, Oregon
“The tariff will impact us greatly. We have contracts in place that we are unable to increase prices to cover the added costs. This was looking to be a good year with the tax reforms, but now it appears we traded one for the other. How will we remain competitive in the world marketplace?”

David Ickert
Air Tractor, Inc.
Manufacturer of Agricultural Airplanes
Olney, Texas
“The proposed tariffs are a definite negative for us. We use both aluminum and steel in the production of our airplanes and this could raise our material prices. Additionally, other countries that import U.S. agricultural products are considering turning to other markets if tariffs go into effect, which could hurt our customers’ markets.”

Thomas E. Secor, President
Durable Corporation
Manufacturer of Loading Dock Bumpers
Norwalk, Ohio
“We currently have a situation where a Canadian competitor imports completed product into Canada and escapes the duty on the completed product and then ships it into the U.S. duty free under NAFTA. I think President Trump is right on the mark to include all countries to start with and then make appropriate adjustments once the proper protections are in order.”

Matthew Bell
Northeast Pellets, LLC
Wood Pellet Manufacturing
Ashland, Maine
“Steel tariffs will not affect our daily operations as our consumable parts are currently made with U.S. steel. I believe tariffs, as a whole, will help U.S. manufacturing and strong manufacturing means more good paying, stable jobs. The wood pellet industry is negatively affected by an open boarders policy – cheap Canadian pellets are flooding our markets and the Canadian government is currently subsidizing the construction and/or expansion of several pellet mills along the U.S. border, with the sole intent of selling into the U.S. market.”

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