New Tariffs (Taxes) on Steel and Aluminum Imports Mean Higher Costs for Many Small Businesses

By at 1 March, 2018, 2:18 pm



Washington, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump announced massive new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and a leading advocacy organization for entrepreneurs and small businesses voiced disappointment and alarm regarding the forthcoming action. At a meeting with industry executives at the White House, President Trump said that he plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, with a formal order to be signed next week.

“There is no escaping the fact that these tariffs – or new taxes, because that is what they are – will raise costs for many small to mid-size businesses. The action, unfortunately, cuts against the many positive policies the Administration has championed and advanced to make the U.S. more investment and business friendly,” said Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

“These big industries that President Trump wants to protect against the forces of competition will do just fine if he keeps moving policy in a direction that makes America the best place in the world to do business. Unfortunately, this move to impose tariffs will have unintended consequences and small businesses will pay the price. It will hurt our economy as well,” added Kerrigan.

SBE Council chief economist Raymond Keating added, “The impact of these new taxes will impact entrepreneurs, small businesses and workers in a wide range of industries that use steel and aluminum, such as in construction, assorted consumer goods manufacturers, and the makers of capital goods, like tools, machinery, equipment and a host of other products. Many of these sectors will become less competitive in the global marketplace.”

Consider, for example, that among U.S. manufacturing employer firms, 74.6 percent have less than 20 employees, 93.5 percent less than 100 workers, and 98.5 percent less than 500 employees.

Keating added, “Unfortunately, most of the businesses that will suffer harm are small and mid-size firms.  Make no mistake, this tax increase is going to hit these businesses hard, which will be a real negative for the economy.”

Contact: Raymond J. Keating

631-909-1122 or

Karen Kerrigan,

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

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