Local Steel Company Owner Disagrees With New Tariff

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  President Trump announced on Thursday the government will be imposing a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports.

“We’re going to build our steel industry back and we’re going to build our aluminum industry back,” Trump said.

But Tharren Keith, owner of Des Moines Steel Company, said he doesn’t think it’s possible.

“I think what he’s trying to do is bring steel back to the United States, which is how it was early on in the early 1900s, and I don’t think we can do it now,” Keith said.

Trump said trade wars are good and easy to win, but Keith said no one is going to win.

“The economy is worldwide now instead of just the U.S. China is going to attach something else if they bring in and it’s just going to go round and round with them,” Keith said.

Keith thinks this plan is going to backfire.

“I think it’s going to hurt us in the long run. Our supply and demand now is going to be hard because almost all of our stainless steel is made in China and overseas."

Additionally, he said not only is the price of steel products going to go up, it’s going to take a lot longer for customers to get steel, especially if they order in large quantities.

“We are telling them here’s the price now, if you want this price you need to get it because it is going to go up, and we have some customers ordering more of it,” he said.

Keith said in the end it’s all about whether the builder is willing to pay the higher price or find a substitute.

“If they want to build a house that has a steel beam in it, maybe they could downsize it to a wood beam."

Trump said the steel and aluminum tariffs are supposed to go into effect next week.