European manufacturers are second guessing their moves to the United States after President Donald Trump implemented tariffs on aluminum and steel from several countries.
Associate Professor of Economics at USC, William Hauk, explained what a tariff is. “Well a tariff is basically a tax on imported goods. So goods and services made outside of the United States may be subject to an extra tax at the border,” said Hauk.
In this case that includes aluminum and steel. President Donald Trump imposed a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum.
“Steel and aluminum are used as inputs in a lot of industries, especially some that are important to South Carolina, like auto manufactures or plane manufacturers,” added Hauk.
Take BMW for example, the auto manufacturer employs more than 8000 thousand people at its Spartanburg County plant alone. The vice president of government and external affairs for the BMW group wrote a letter to the united states department of commerce expressing its concerns. In the letter the Lisa Saums writes,
“All of these factors would substantially increase the costs of exporting passenger cars to these markets from the United States
and deteriorate the market access for BMW potentially leading to strongly reduced export volumes and negative effects on investment and employment in the United States.”
The CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce also weighed in on the potential impact of tariffs on the state.
Ted Pitts said, “70% of the vehicles made in Greer, South Carolina get on a ship in Charleston, South Carolina and are made for other markets. And if you look at the tariffs the government is trying to impose, that could mean a $3 billion impact on the state’s economy.”
BMW has invested more than 6 billion dollars in the state and employs more than 30 thousand people state wide.
Several businesses have already received exclusions on the steel and aluminum tariffs including, Zapp Precision Wire of Summerville.