Caleb Bauer and Ed Semmler, South Bend Tribune
SOUTH BEND — Proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum have been touted as a fix to declining U.S. production numbers and shrinking steel and aluminum industry employment.
But some experts fear the tariffs, if implemented as expected this week by President Donald Trump, could harm manufacturers who buy steel and aluminum to produce their products. Manufacturers like those found in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties.
One of those experts, Gary Cohn, the president's top economic adviser, announced his resignation on Tuesday following Trump's public comments to impose the economic sanctions.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Jimtown, indicated she’s concerned about the president’s proposed tariffs and asked him to reconsider his idea to avoid the potential “harmful impact” of tariffs. Her district includes Elkhart County, which is dependent on steel and aluminum to build most of the nation's recreational vehicles.
U.S. Sen. Todd Young, struck a more middle-of-the-road tone Tuesday, praising Trump for addressing unfair trade but asking that measures be “balanced and implement a targeted approach.”
Other local legislators — U.S. Rep. Fred Upton of southwestern Michigan and U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly — did not comment on the tariff plans. Donnelly’s office did say the Democratic senator from Granger would be “reviewing President Trump’s trade measures” once they are formally implemented.
Last week, Trump said he plans to implement 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports. The percentages are higher than recommended by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who last month proposed tariffs of 24 percent on steel and 7.7 percent on aluminum.