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Business

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Denounces Trump Tariff Plan

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Susan Walsh
/
AP
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Donohue delivers his annual "State of American Business" address at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington in January.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched a lobbying campaign criticizing President Donald Trump’s tariffs on international trade. Over the weekend, Canada imposed retaliatory tariffs on aluminum. New York exports about half a billion dollars in aluminum. But so far, manufacturers in the region are sanguine about a trade war.

Most of New York’s metal foundries closed long ago. A glut of metal from China made it hard for domestic producers to compete. Those that are left are smaller shops that complain about how door knobs at Home Depot are sold cheaper than they could even get the material for. Generally, they say tariffs help create a level-playing field for U.S. manufacturers.

“If you need a product, and you’ve got a good source, and the price goes up 10 or 15 cents a pound, [larger companies] they’re just going to have to add the increase to their product,” said Joann Vandemark, who runs Milward Alloys near Buffalo, New York.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says those increased costs get passed on to customers, and ultimately bog down economic activity.