Illinois Chamber Of Commerce President Says Chinese Tariffs Will Hurt The State

Nancy Harty
July 06, 2018 - 12:47 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The head of the state Chamber of Commerce said new Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods could really hurt Illinois businesses.

Boeing and Caterpillar are among the companies here expected to take a hit under the tariffs imposed Friday.

While the tax might prompt some companies to move operations out of the U.S., Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch said capital-intense manufacturers can't make changes quickly.

"It really depends on your industry on how much lead time you have to go ahead and adjust to things, but it is negative across the board, no doubt about it," Maisch said.

He said the tariffs are a huge issue not only for business owners, but farmers. Soybeans and pork imports will have the new tariff and Maisch said farmers are wondering if their products will be next.

Agriculture is Illinois' top industry.

While Maisch credits President Trump with bringing attention to legitimate trade issues such as China's intellectual property theft, he says the president's comments have been "unnecessarily incendiary."

He hopes cooler heads prevail in a few weeks and both sides will stop, in his words, tossing grenades across the ocean.