International Home and Housewares Show

Terry Keshner

Tariff Talk is Hot At International Home And Housewares Show

March 10, 2018 - 5:10 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- President Trump's proclamation imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum is getting a lot of attention at the International Home and Housewares Show running through Tuesday at McCormick Place.

Neil Asbury, President and CEO of The Legacy Companies, told WBBM that he's "fundamentally opposed to tariffs, however we really don't know what's going on at this moment, it [the tariff proposal> keeps changing.

Asbury said that he wouldn't be surprised if the tariffs get watered down. He added: “In the end, if it does cost $160 more for an automobile, or if it does cost a nickel more for a can of soda, isn't worth our dignity to employ Americans?”

Phil Brandl, President and CEO of the International Housewares Association, also said this is a developing issue.

"While there's a whole lot of ambiguity about what the tariff really represents at this point in time, we are wholly against any kind of a tariff on finished goods that in effect would add cost to the consumer for products that they buy that would not any increment of value,” he said.

Asbury also said that the debate over tariffs opens the conversation about American manufacturing, saying that America is still a great place to manufacture things but many American workers need to be re-trained.

The way to re-train Americans, he added, is to put more emphasis on vocational skills, which used to be taught more in high school, and focus less on college degrees, which often saddle people with debt, but not usable skills.