Tariff Pain Continues to Spread Across the Country As Trade War Continues

White House Begins Another Pro-Tariff Push, but State-by-State, Tariffs Are Still Hurting Americans 

WASHINGTON – Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs, responded today to the latest push by the White House to promote tariffs in a series of state-by-state media calls.

“The longer the trade war lasts, the more harm it will cause Americans across the country,” said Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Spokesman Brian Kuehl. “The evidence is already in: tariffs are hurting families, small businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and retailers in all 50 states. The current trade agenda is 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 – and Price Tag Could Reach $1.7 Billion

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)

“Take Pennsylvania, where 1.6 million of its people have jobs dependent on foreign trade: That includes those in natural gas production as well as steel and agriculture. The natural gas, for example, could get exported to China, which will now get it from Qatar, United Arab Emirates or Russia. Pennsylvania is already feeling pain from the solar tariffs imposed earlier in the year. Overall, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that tariffs could cost the state $1.7 billion.” (Ken Silverstein, “Trump’s Trade War with China Is Hurting Those Energy-Producing States He Won,” Forbes, 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)

SOUTH CAROLINA: Tariffs Forcing South Carolina Manufacturers to Cut Jobs, Move Operations Overseas

“Volvo, which recently started production in Berkeley County, could shift some of its vehicle assembly to China, cutting back on the number of employees in the Charleston area and its planned economic investment here. BMW, which operates a large facility in Greer, hasn’t yet said it would move production elsewhere, but is predicting losses of up to $500 million annually if Chinese tariffs on foreign automotive imports remain in place. … As much as $3.9 billion in South Carolina exports to China are threatened by tariffs, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In the short-term, Mr. Trump’s escalating trade war could mean higher prices for consumers. In the long-term, it could mean lost jobs and investment.” (Editorial, “Don’t Let Trump’s Trade War Kill SC Jobs and Investment,” Charleston Post and Courier, 10/16/18)

“Beleaguered Fairfield County is losing another 126 jobs after TV-maker Element Electronics said Monday it will close its Winnsboro plant in response to tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump. The layoffs come a year after Cayce-based SCE&G and state-owned Santee Cooper canceled their decadelong effort to build two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, putting 5,000 construction workers out of work and wiping away a promised economic boon to the poor, rural county.” (Avery G. Wilks, “Fairfield Losing Another 126 Jobs After TV-Maker Closes Plant, Citing Trump Tariffs,” The State, 8/6/18)

TENNESSEE: Manufacturers Say Tariffs Make It Impossible to Compete with Foreign Companies

“Executives from six area companies employing more than 1,000 Tennesseans described the significant price increases on steel, both domestic and imported, that they said are impairing their ability to compete against foreign companies. According to the Aug. 13 letter, steel prices are the highest they have been since 2008 and they have increased by 43 percent since this time last year. ‘These employees and our businesses depend on access to competitively priced steel to fabricate our products and compete in a global marketplace,’ the leaders wrote. ‘We cannot compete globally when the cost of our most important input has spiked and delivery times are extended.’” (Jamie McGee, “Tennessee Manufacturers Urge Trump to Rescind Steel Tariffs,” Nashville Tennessean, 8/20/18)

“The Trump administration’s new tariffs on aluminum and steel and the threat of more duties on imported cars and car parts will weaken the U.S. economy and inflict serious damage on the nation’s auto industry, a panel of trade analysts warned Wednesday. Americans will pay thousands of dollars more for new cars and trucks as a result of the tariffs, and as many as 700,000 workers in the auto industry could lose their jobs, the analysts told a Senate committee.” (Michael Collins, “Tariffs on Imported Cars, Parts Could Harm U.S. Economy and Auto Industry, Experts Warn,” USA Today, 9/5/18)

OHIO: Farmers Caught in Trade War Crossfire Face Tough Choices

“Ohio farmers are facing tough decisions as the escalating trade war with China drops the market value of crops during a potentially record harvest season for some growers. Weather conditions this summer are expected to lead to above average yield for Southwest Ohio farmers, who are being forced to figure out how they’ll store corn and soybeans instead of selling their crops for nearly 50 percent less than they could six years ago. Caught in the crossfire of tariffs on Chinese imports and retaliatory tariffs from China, farmers are seeing several factors compounding to make this year especially challenging.” (Holly Shively, “Ohio Farmers Face Tough Economic Conditions Amid Trade War Crossfire,” Dayton Daily News, 10/1/18)

President Donald Trump reached a new trade agreement this week with Mexico and Canada, but Ohio soy farmers say they are still feeling pain from the trade war with China. ‘The retaliatory tariffs in China have increased the price of soybeans from Ohio producers, preventing Ohio farmers from trading with its Chinese trade partners,’ economist Andrew Kidd told Watchdog.org. ‘Due to the tariffs, farmers would receive less for the soybeans they are able to trade with China and, because of that, it is not profitable to be a soybean farmer.’ … Kidd said it would be difficult for farmers to replace Chinese partnerships and the losses they expect to incur could cause many of them to go out of business and lose their farms unless the trade war ends. China, he said, likely will import soybeans from other countries to compensate for their losses in trade with the U.S.” (Trump Eases Some Trade Tension, but Ohio Soy Farmers Still Feel Pain,” Watchdog.org, 10/4/18

MICHIGAN: “Michigan’s Largest Industry Could Get Walloped”

“But if the Trump administration follows through on other threat of imposing tariffs on all car imports on the premise they pose a national security threat, Michigan’s largest industry could get walloped, according to a recent study by the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research. U.S. auto sales could plunge by as much as 2 million vehicles a year, resulting in the loss of up to 715,000 U.S. jobs, the report warns. The glut could reduce gross domestic product by as much as $62 billion, the study says.” (“U.S., China Hike Tariffs As Trade War Intensifies,” Crain’s Detroit Business, 9/24/18)

“Ford Motor Co has seen higher steel and aluminum costs driven by trade tariffs bite into profit, but is hopeful the United States and China can avoid further tensions that could make things more costly, a top Ford executive said on Monday. … The U.S. auto industry has warned against imposing more tariffs on Chinese products, saying that doing so would harm vehicle sales and cost jobs.” (Ben Klayman, “Ford Sees Higher Metal Costs, Hopes China and U.S. Can Settle Trade Issues,” Reuters, 10/22/18)

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