Ohio Businesses Warn Trump Administration Tariffs On China Will Raise Costs

Aug 27, 2018
Originally published on August 27, 2018 9:45 am

Hudson-based Joann sent a message to customers this week warning them that the craft store’s products -- including candle holders and glass beads -- may be affected by the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods.

The email urged its customers to sign a petition objecting to the new tariffs. On Thursday the company's CEO Jill Soltau traveled to Washington to testify to the U.S. Trade Representative about the harm the new tariffs would cause her company.

Dozens of Ohio business and industry associations have added their voices to concerns over the tariffs.

Moen and Lubrizol point out that materials used in their products might be facing a 25 percent tariff. In comments submitted to the Trump Administration, Moen, based in North Olmsted, cited concern about tariffs on showerheads. Wickliffe-based Lubrizol says the tariff would affect a substance used to produce plumbing fittings and cell phone covers.

And some of these companies say it’s not possible to find U.S. sources of these materials. Moen says it recently tried to diversify its supply chain but found no viable alternative sources.

“Few if any suppliers outside of China can provide one location for plastic molding and finishing on plastic trim,” read Moen’s public comments.

“With no viable domestic or international alternative, Lubrizol will incur a $400,000 increase in costs to import the product,” read the company’s statement to the federal government. “If Lubrizol is unable to absorb these costs, they will inevitably be passed on to the further downstream manufacturers, and ultimately consumers.”

A representative from the Ohio Water Quality Association says 90 percent of a substance used to soften and purify water is imported from China. The group says higher import prices could mean higher water prices for Ohio consumers.

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