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Elkhart Official: Trump Tariffs Could Stall Growth

The RV Capital of the World relies heavily on two things President Trump may be targeting – steel and aluminum. So what impact could new tariffs have on life in Indiana’s Elkhart County?

“When you increase the price of materials it takes to build RVs – when you do that, obviously that cost has to go somewhere,” said Levon Johnson, the president of the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce.

ABC 57 News reported that Johnson said Elkhart’s RV industry, and other local industries that use steel and aluminum, are keeping a “very watchful eye” on what President Trump decides to do after he proposed a 25% tariff, or tax, on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum.

According to CNN, Indiana and Michigan are two of the top five states that depend most on manufacturing. Lake County, Ind., is home to Gary Works, the nation’s largest steel mill.

Johnson said raising the cost to get much-needed steel into Elkhart manufacturers’ hands could put a freeze on the tremendous economic growth the area has seen in the last few years.

He said he and his colleagues are waiting to see if President Trump will put the tariffs in place immediately, over time, or at all.

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1 Comment To "Elkhart Official: Trump Tariffs Could Stall Growth"

#1 Comment By Eric Schrader On March 6, 2018 @ 9:59 am

So did anyone ask the question what percentage of cheaper, imported (price supported by governments) steel goes into the cost of RV’s, whether it is Class A, B, C or travel trailers. Maybe it’s time to start using more composite materials to save weight and cost. What % of steel used by the chassis manufacturers like Freightliner and Spartan come from foreign steel. If more steel was bought from Gary Works, i.e. better pricing due to quality discounts, then these savings would offset any tariffs. In a time of war, you think we are going to buy steel from China or other 3rd world countries. The industry needs to look at the big picture and not just the RV world.