Small businesses say they are caught in the crossfire of trade war


WASHINGTON D.C. (News4Utah)- As the trade war with China escalates, small businesses around the country are starting to get uncomfortable.

They say they are caught in the crossfire.

Karen Kerrigan with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council says the silver lining, is the tariffs aren’t coming as a surprise.

“It’s going to make it difficult for them to compete, it’s going to raise costs,” she said.

She says some small business owners are stocking up on supplies from China before prices jump, but Bryan Riley with National Taxpayers Union says there’s only so much small businesses can do.

“If you’re a big company, you can relocate production. Your lobbyists can maybe get exemptions here in DC, but a small biz doesn’t have those types of opportunities.”

Kerrigan tells us, for now, most small business owners are still confident in the economy.

“If this gets cranked up to another level — it begins to erode optimism and confidence and obviously that has an impact,” she said.

The President is threatening to slap additional tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports.

Kerrigan says the two countries need to agree to a trade deal soon and she says it’s not yet clear if tariffs are a good negotiating tactic.

 “We just don’t want this to continue to go on for a long-term basis because that undermines all the good growth and confidence we’re seeing right now.”

But that’s exactly what Riley says is happening.

“I’m afraid we’re in a cycle of these getting bigger and bigger and it will be really difficult to walk them back and we’ll be stuck paying these higher tariffs for years,” he said.

The two countries have said they’re willing to hold more trade talks this month but have yet to announce official plans.

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...