‘Beyond Frustrated’ Ohio Farmers, Manufacturers, Retailers Feel Sting of Escalating Trade War

QUOTE FROM GORDON GOUGH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE OHIO COUNCIL OF RETAIL MERCHANTS: “Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses, farmers and families in Ohio. Retailers in Ohio have limited resources, so they won’t be able to simply absorb the cost of these new taxes. Instead, these costs will show up in the form of fewer jobs and higher prices for Ohioans. As businesses brace for the impact of this escalating trade war, they’re rightfully frustrated because American consumers and job creators shouldn’t be forced to pay for the unfair practices of our trading partners. There has to be a better way to achieve a better deal for our country, and we hope the administration will start to heed that message.”

‘THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETPLACE IS ON PAUSE:’ “Sean Dorsey, founder and CEO of Cleveland investment bank League Park Advisors, was working on a deal involving the purchase of a farm equipment seller before the effects of the tariff-driven trade war with China began to materialize. Major equipment sales have dialed back lately, Dorsey said, because of a slowdown in projected revenue growth for businesses that consume steel — like machinery manufacturers — in the wake of higher input costs, which are a function of the tariffs imposed under President Donald Trump. ‘In the farm world, the agricultural marketplace is on pause at some levels to see what happens with these trade wars,’ Dorsey said.” (Jeremy Nobile, “Simmering U.S.-China Trade War Is Bearing Down On M&A Sector,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, 9/16/18)

CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY FROM OHIO STOREOWNER WARNS OF SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS: “‘The proposed tariffs would unintentionally amount to a Made in America tax on sewing and crafting projects completed by Americans. As a result, there will be an incentive to move production and jobs away from the United States,’ said Jill Soltau from Jo-Ann Stores in Hudson, Ohio.” (Gina Heeb,“Dozens of Retailers Testified About How Trump’s Trade War With China Could Impact Them – Here’s What They Said,” Markets Insider, 9/13/18)

OHIO FACTORY OWNERS ‘BEYOND FRUSTRATED’ WITH HIGHER COSTS FOR MATERIALS. The company would not have brought some of its manufacturing jobs from the Philippines to its facility in West Chester, Ohio, had it known that needed components from China would be targeted for duties,’ President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Cowger said. Cowger said the company may have no choice but to pass on higher costs from the duties to consumers and is forced to spend time, energy and money addressing the disruption caused by the tariffs instead of developing new products. ‘I’m beyond frustrated,’ Cowger said. ‘I should be spending my time on making this company great.’” (Mark Niquette, “Trump Duties Spur Industry Campaign to De-Escalate Trade War,” Bloomberg, 9/12/18)

7,000 PEOPLE OUT OF WORK IN LORDSTOWN, OHIO, WHERE GM IS CLOSING TWO PRODUCTION LINES: “‘These companies are taking tax breaks with one hand and handing out pink slips with the other,’ Robert Martinez Jr., the president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, told USA Today. ‘I’m going to call it like I see it. … This is a corporate ambush on working people.’ It’s a refrain repeated in places like Lordstown, Ohio, where GM is closing two production lines, putting some 7,000 people out of work. Yet some union members themselves are complicit in those ambushes. Mr. Trump’s promise to keep or restore jobs in America played well in blue-collar states such as Ohio and Wisconsin, which he won by fewer than 23,000 votes.” (“Trump’s Silly War With Harley-Davidson,” The New York Times, 8/19/18)

THE TRADE WAR COULD COST OHIO $3.3 BILLION IN EXPORTS. “This isn’t the sort of list that states want to top. Too bad for Ohio, which is seventh out of the 50 states, with $3.3 billion in exports to Canada, China, Mexico and Europe that are affected by the new tariffs. It’s about what would be expected in a state that is home to 25 Fortune 500 companies — fifth most in the country — and has a large manufacturing sector.” (JD Malone & Mark Williams, “Ohio Lands at No. 7 of States Hardest Hit By Tariffs,” Norwalk Reflector, 7/25/18)

EVERY CORNER OF OHIO’S MANUFACTURING BASE IS HURT BY TARIFFS. “Now, in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s May 31 announcement that it would slap tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from Canada, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to strike back hard. Almost immediately, Canada released its own list of retaliatory tariffs, and not just on steel and aluminum. Also included were household products ranging from shaving cream to toilet paper to inflatable boats.” (Jessica Wehrman, “Trade War with Canada Could Punish Ohio,” Dayton Daily News, 7/11/18)

  • “The impact on Ohio is a reflection of what gets made here, and it’s not a small list. Consider this:
    • Yogurt? Dannon, in Minster, makes it.
    • Strawberry jam? Smuckers, pride of Orrville, manufactures it.
    • Shaving cream? The Barbasol brand is made in Ashland.
    • Parts for washers and dryers? Whirlpool, with locations in Ottowa, Greenville and Clyde.
    • Cars? Hondas are made in Marysville, and Chevy Cruzes in Lordstown.” (Jessica Wehrman, “Trade War with Canada Could Punish Ohio,” Dayton Daily News, 7/11/18)