Ohio Steel Manufacturers Say Tariffs Causing Market 'Craziness'

Aug 29, 2018

A Cleveland manufacturer says the tariffs imposed against imported steel are making it harder to do business in the U.S. It's hoping for a quick resolution of trade disputes with suppliers.

Dan Collins is vice president of sales and marketing at Wire Products Company in Cleveland. His two west side plants convert coils of steel wire into latches, springs, hooks and clips for everything from lawn mowers to jet airplanes.

Collins says, after years of steady pricing, the industry is in upheaval.

“It’s craziness what’s going on right now in the steel market,” Collins says.

He says raw material costs have jumped by up to 30 percent in recent months, and even domestic steel producers have raised prices to match the increase in imports.

He’s hoping trade negotiations with China will soon resolve the volatility.

“But as long as the tariffs are in play, it’s a crapshoot to see exactly when this will stabilize,” Collins says.

Collins says automakers and other customers have been understanding of the price increases, but consumers will ultimately pay the bill.