Elkhart County, IN — Mike Yoder, president of the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners, recently took to the op-ed pages of Elkhart County’s local paper to discuss the harmful effects of tariffs for Indiana farmers, manufacturers and the freight rail sector.
“Between the swirling numbers and seemingly constant escalations, it’s easy to lose sight of what this all means. Make no mistake: tariffs are a tax on U.S. businesses and consumers.
Elkhart County provides a good example. We manufacture 80 percent of the recreational vehicles you see on the road today. Because of tariffs, raw materials are costing as much as 50 percent more than they typically would – resulting in higher prices for the buyer.”
He writes that in addition to the extra cost of tariffs, trade tension makes it difficult for businesses to make long-term plans.
“Another problem is the uncertainty created by escalating tariffs. Indiana is one of the top producers of corn, soybeans, hogs, poultry, popcorn and tomato products, and, in total, Hoosier products generate almost $6 billion in exports and support more than 100,000 jobs. But as many across the state face an uncertain future due to trade tensions, businesses large and small are finding it difficult to make decisions about the direction of their companies.
Freight rail operators have been left in a precarious position, as businesses that typically use their services are making important decisions that will affect how rail operations will be needed after crops are harvested. Without a clear direction on trade policies and their impact on farmers and manufacturers, railroads will find it difficult to properly allocate equipment, rail cars and personnel.”