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Steel tariff could have big impact on Tennessee Valley economy

Morgan County is home to major steel manufacturers.

Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 9:43 PM
Updated: Mar. 8, 2018 9:04 AM

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders President Donald Trump is on the verge of enacting trade tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

On Wednesday WAAY 31 did some digging into how those tariff's will impact the Tennessee Valley.

Todd Hensley lives in Decatur and works at a fabrication company which deals a lot with steel.

"It's a rather small company, but we hope to grow and I hope that will help us grow, so that's something that I think might help us," said Hensley.

The proposed tariffs by the President are 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.

The Morgan County Economic Development Association told WAAY 31 the biggest winners from the steel tariff are companies like Nucor in Decatur.

They produce steel products.

By making imported steel more expensive through the tariff it essentially makes American made steel more competitive in price, which potentially makes it more appealing for other companies to buy.

WAAY 31 Political Analyst Dale Jackson told us there could be negative impacts to the tariff.

He said Increasing the cost of foreign steel increases operating costs for American Manufacturers who buy that steel.

He predicts those increases could mean job cuts, so the companies can maintain their profits.

"When you cut personnel that has a ripple effect, because there's less people buying hamburgers and houses, cars, and some other things, so that ripple effect will work its way through the economy. That's where it will be felt first," said Jackson.

Hensley is trying to stay optimistic about what will come from the tariffs.

"I think we'll have more positive out of it than negative myself," said Hensley.

Both Dale Jackson and the Economic Development Association in Morgan County told WAAY 31 only time will tell if these tariffs will have an overall positive, or negative, effect on the economy here in the Tennessee Valley.

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