Today a coalition of business owners, farmers and consumers held a town hall in Chicago to discuss how tariffs are affecting their bottom line. The event kicks off the nonpartisan Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’s campaign, which is dedicated to highlighting the effects of the trade war on Americans across the country.
“The trade war has created significant turmoil in the seafood industry, with tariffs causing price increases for the products we import and shutting off foreign markets for fishermen, lobstermen and crabbers who make a living selling to international markets,” said Sean O’Scannlain, president and CEO of Fortune Fish & Gourmet. “Farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and retailers across the country are faced with rising costs that lead to layoffs, while consumers are paying higher prices for everyday goods. Fair trade policies are important, but tariffs are hurting businesses and workers at a time when our economy could be expanding and creating more jobs.”
Illinois is suffering across the board. Stack-On Products will close two of its Chicago-area plants next month and lay off 153 people because of the tariffs; their operations are reportedly moving to Mexico. Hog farmers in the state are seeing prices drop by roughly $9 per head, exacerbating an already challenging price situation. And row farmers are projecting hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost profits each. All sectors of the state’s economy—workers, consumers, farmers, small businesses owners—are suffering devastating losses. This can’t continue.
“The significant drop in value of our crops has led to an uncertain and unsustainable financial future. We would like to transition our farm to the next generation but find it impossible to make plans and are unsure as to how to proceed,” said Michele Aavang, who farms corn, soybeans, wheat and raises cattle.
Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 100 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. The campaign’s next stop will be in Nashville to hear from Tennesseans on the regional impacts they are suffering because of tariffs.
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Information provided by Tariffs Hurt The Heartland. Americans for Free Trade and Farmers for Free Trade.