Springfield Steel Business Cautiously Optimistic About New Tariffs

Mar 12, 2018

President Donald Trump implemented new tariffs on steel and aluminum this month.
Credit Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

President Donald Trump ordered new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports this month.

Nathan Arbeitman has worked at the Fimco Steel Supply Company for 20 years. Fimco distributes steel to local builders, manufacturers and metal crafters.  Arbeitman is the vice president and general manager of the company.  

“I’m not going to say it’s a good or bad thing,” he said regarding the news from the White House. 

“I am for the tariff but I don’t want to see prices go so high that it affects the consumer’s bottom dollar,” Arbeitman said.  

Arbeitman said the price of steel remained steady throughout the 80s and 90s, but changed in 2002 when President George W. Bush implemented his own tariffs on steel. This caused the prices to go up.  

Arbeitman says business is good for Fimco at the moment, but he added there has been some uncertainty from his customers surrounding the new tariffs.  

“So if you drive that price up with not much supply available, it’s gonna drive [the price] up even higher and faster and create a more uncertain market towards the near future,” Arbeitman said.  

Mexico and Canada will likely be exempt from the new tariffs.