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Sun Jul 29, 2018, 09:23 AM

Trump's tariffs stifling Montana metal manufacturers, farmers; boosting lumber mills

From soda cans to spring wheat to solar panels, all sectors of the U.S. economy have been affected by President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported materials and the resulting retaliations by foreign markets. In Montana, the tariffs have caused headaches for grain growers and metal products manufacturers, while the wood products industry has seen a resurgence.

An aluminum cargo trailer manufacturing company just east of Missoula in Bonner that employs 165 workers has had its ambitious growth prediction somewhat stifled as it deals with higher materials costs due tariffs imposed by Trump.

“We’re just paying 20 percent more on the exact same product we got before,” said Ron Neibauer, the plant manager for Alcom. “Unfortunately, that hurts everybody we do business with. If we see major price increases, we have a couple of choices. We can eat that part of the cost or pass it along to the consumer.

"I think that in general, the industry tried to absorb those costs as best as possible but eventually they end up going to the consumer, who ultimately ends up paying more.”

Read more: https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/trump-s-tariffs-stifling-montana-metal-manufacturers-farmers-boosting-lumber/article_6be74e12-ca03-5e0a-a97c-65e68b868a51.html

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