State By State, Tariffs Are Hurting American Businesses and Families

As White House Pushes Benefits of Tariffs in Targeted States, Facts Tell a Different Story

WASHINGTON – Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs, responded today to the new White House campaign attempting to highlight the benefits of tariffs in targeted states.

“Tariffs are causing pain nationwide,” said Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Spokesman Brian Kuehl. “State by state, the trade war is taking a mounting toll on families, workers, small business owners, manufacturers, farmers, and countless others. Tariffs have raised prices for everyday necessities like groceries, forced manufacturers to lay off employees, and closed off foreign markets to farmers who make their living off of agriculture exports. Tariffs are a drag on every corner of our economy and that pain will only get worse as the trade war continues.”

PENNSYLVANIA: Consumers Paying $45 Million a Month More Thanks to Tariffs

Thanks to Trump-imposed tariffs, Pennsylvanians are paying $45 million more a month for internationally sourced goods, according to data complied by consulting firm Trade Partnership and released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. On steel alone, the state spent an additional $98 million on ‘section 232 tariffs,’ primarily on steel from Russia, aluminum from Canada, rebar from Turkey, and forklift parts from China.” (Sam Wood, “Trump Tariffs Toll on Pa. Industry: $98M Extra for Steel and an Anxious Business Climate,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/12/18)

“The $45 million-per-month figure in Pennsylvania is the fifth-largest among all states, behind Illinois ($70 million), Michigan ($71 million), California $116 million) and Texas ($166 million), according to The Trade Partnership. Steel and aluminum were once duty free, but after Section 232, U.S. companies paid an additional $1.5 billion, according to the Partnership. The tariffs on steel cost Pennsylvania companies nearly $100 million alone. Since the first round of additional tariffs went into effect on March 23, and through and including August, Pennsylvania paid more than $98 million in steel tariffs, according to the data.” (Kenneth Hilario, “Here’s How Much Pa. Companies Are Paying in Tariffs,” Philadelphia Business Journal, 10/11/18)

NEW YORK: ‘Casualties Mounting’ in Agriculture, Retail

“To the surprise of perhaps only the president, this trade war has not so far helped U.S. businesses. It’s made doing international commerce much more expensive. It’s at this point that Mr. Trump should have realized the potential harm his tariffs would do to businesses of all sizes in many industries. The reasonable move would be to withdraw the tariffs and allow the free market to function for everyone’s benefit. … Agriculture is the foundation of the north country’s economy. We understand how vital it is for farmers to succeed each year. When they hurt, we all hurt.” (EDITORIAL: “Casualties Mounting: International Trade War Hurting Farmers and Other Industries,” Watertown Daily Times, 9/2/18)

“New York Farmers are generally celebrated at the New York State Fair.  But today some of those farmers made a call from the fairgrounds to end tariffs and a trade war they say is hurting them and local economies. … The tariffs are not just on dairy; they’re also impacting New York soybeans, wine, maple and apples.  Further, tariffs on steel are driving up the cost of farm equipment.  Farm Bureau President David Fisher adds the recent trade tensions come at a time that was already tough.” (Chris Bolt & John Smith, “NYS Farmers Plead for End of Tariffs & Trade War at State Fair,” WAER, 8/30/18)

COLORADO: With ‘1982 Prices’ Times Are Hard for Farmers and Ranchers – and Could Get Harder

“In northeast Colorado, during a break from harvesting corn, Jeremy Fix talked about the hail storms that took out roughly a quarter of the corn he and his family grow near Wray. There’s the increasingly dry soil that has him worried about the fate of the wheat they’re starting to plant. The piling on of tariffs in the back-and-forth trade fight between the U.S. and China comes on top of already low grain prices. ‘It’s just very stressful and disheartening to see a good crop that you’ve worked so hard for and at the end of the year not really make any profit on it,’ Fix said. ‘You’ve got to keep your fingers crossed and hope you have enough grain at the end of the year just to pay your bills.’” (Drought, Tariffs, Low Prices: Times Are Hard on Colorado Farms and Ranches – and May Get Harder,” Denver Post, 10/9/18)

“This time around, tariffs and drought are adding to the problems created by slumping commodity prices — what farmers and ranchers get for their products. ‘There have been enormous drops in commodity prices. Since 2012, we’ve seen as much as a 62 percent drop in corn,’ [Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don] Brown said. ‘It’s huge. We’re back to about 1982 prices. There’s nothing in the world you can buy for ’82 prices — except for corn.’” (Drought, Tariffs, Low Prices: Times Are Hard on Colorado Farms and Ranches – and May Get Harder,” Denver Post, 10/9/18)

MONTANA: Tariffs Hike Manufacturing Costs, Keep Farmers Up at Night

“An aluminum cargo trailer manufacturing company just east of Missoula in Bonner that employs 165 workers has had its ambitious growth prediction somewhat stifled as it deals with higher materials costs due to tariffs imposed by Trump. ‘We’re just paying 20 percent more on the exact same product we got before,’ said Ron Neibauer, the plant manager for Alcom. ‘Unfortunately, that hurts everybody we do business with. If we see major price increases, we have a couple of choices. We can eat that part of the cost or pass it along to the consumer.’” (David Erickson, “Trump’s Tariffs Stifling Montana Metal Manufacturers, Farmers; Boosting Lumber Mills,” Helena Independent Record, 7/29/18)

“A Montana farmer told the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee today that there have been very few issues in her career as a farmer that has caused her to lose sleep. But the latest string of tariffs against agriculture is one of them. …  ‘Currently farmers like me are not only struggling to ensure this year’s crop is profitable, but we are also concerned about the long-term impacts to our valuable export markets.’ [Broadview Grain Farmer and Cattle Rancher Michelle] Erickson-Jones said.” (“Montana Farmer Tells House Tariffs Are Keeping Her Up at Night,” AGDaily, 7/18/18)