Tariff Stories: A Weekly Look at How Tariffs Hurt Americans

Ohio Company Stops Hiring After Getting ‘Hit at Both Ends’ By Tariffs (Reuters)

“Gradall Industries Inc. is among those getting hit at both ends of their business. … Mike Haberman, president of Gradall, said they raised prices twice last year in response to higher-cost imports and steel. Meanwhile, ‘our exports to China are down 30 to 40 percent,’ said Haberman, due to retaliatory tariffs China slapped on imports of Gradall’s machines and the economic slowdown in that country. Haberman said he has not shed workers yet, but stopped hiring last year.”

Farm Income Cut in Half, Bankruptcies Up 98 Percent As Farmers Wonder When Trade War Will End (Yahoo

“Among members of his union, ‘their largest concern comes with the fact that their farm income is off about 50 percent from probably five, six years ago,’ [North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark] Watne told Yahoo Finance’s First Trade. ‘We’re not seeing an end to the trade war, and we’re questioning what a so-called win will look like.’ … ‘We’re seeing bankruptcies up by 98 percent, and farmers are trying to get their operating money put together this spring, and it’s going to be really hard,’ Watne said.”

American Manufacturers See Profit Margin, Employee Base ‘Dwindle’ As Tariff Costs Continue to Rise (Christian Science Monitor)

“This is America’s biggest producer of lobster traps and crab pots, with their colorful PVC coatings to protect them from the seawater, but [Riverdale Mills] CEO James Knott Jr. has seen his profit margins and his employee base dwindle over the past nine months because of U.S. steel tariffs. ‘My main competitors are out of China and the EU and they don’t have any tariffs,’ he says. ‘We get out of line with the world market and we are in trouble.’”

Tariffs Force Small Farms into Deep Debt, Depress Commodity Prices for Exporters (Houston Chronicle)

“Right now, I am getting $9.40 per hundred-weight of rice, compared to the $18 per hundred-weight we were receiving seven years ago. My land is southwest of Houston, and in this region, at least 50 percent of the rice we produce is exported to Mexico. …The depressed prices mean smaller farmers have been unable to pay off their bank loans after harvest in recent years. They are rolling debt over from one year to the next, and with prices low, it’s unlikely they will be able to stay in business much longer. … My community in Lissie, and communities across Texas need a major trade victory right now to reduce the anxiety among farmers who are finding it difficult under these conditions to strategically plan for the future.” –Timothy Gertson, Fifth Generation Farmer from Lissie, Texas