COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the trade war between the United States and China continues to intensify, businesses, consumers, and farmers in Ohio are feeling the impact.
Judy Huang, CEO of 889 Global Solutions in Columbus, said the tariffs create a lot of uncertainty for her customers.
“It’s just very difficult to plan because you don’t know what’s coming up,” Huang said. “You don’t know when the next tariff is going to hit and you don’t know what that percentage is going to be.”
Last week, President Donald Trump announced he would impose a 10 percent tariff on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports. In May, the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese products.
In response, China devalued its currency and announced it was suspending promised purchases of American farm products.
Soybean farmers in Ohio will be particularly hard hit. Scott Metzger, president of the Ohio Soybean Association and a soybean farmer, said the tariffs are compounding the problem of an already tight market for farmers.
“We’d much rather have trade than tariffs,” Metzger said. “We want to be able to compete in an open market.”
889 Global Solutions is a contract manufacturer that supplies parts made in its plants in China to manufacturers here in Ohio.
“Usually we’re able to save clients 20 to 30 percent on cost savings,” Huang said.
The company supplies parts for manufacturers in the oil and gas, medical supply and motorcycle industries, among others.
The company has had to pass the cost of the tariffs on to those customers, who are then passing the costs on to their clients and customers, Huang said.
With the trade conflict deepening, Huang sees consumers across the spectrum feeling the impact.
“I think, ultimately, everybody is going to have price increases,” Huang said. “Folks that are buying things in the retail stores — all of us as consumers are going to feel the price increase because no one has the ability to absorb 25 percent of the price increase.”