Trade showdown

Ahead of a U.S.-China trade deal, uncertainty still dominates the steel business

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Jan 14, 2020
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Steel coils produced at the NLMK Indiana mill are prepared for shipping in Portage, Indiana, in 2018. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Trade showdown

Ahead of a U.S.-China trade deal, uncertainty still dominates the steel business

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Jan 14, 2020
Steel coils produced at the NLMK Indiana mill are prepared for shipping in Portage, Indiana, in 2018. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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It’s been nearly two years since President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imported Chinese steel and aluminum. Some businesses have been battling the effects of those tariffs every day since.

RM Metals in South Plainfield, New Jersey, a maker of stainless steel parts for appliances, is one of those on the front lines of the trade war. The 25% tariffs on steel have cut deeply into the business, which has had to restructure its supply chain. The company has filed tariff exemption requests, but those have met objections and denials. But Sam Desai, vice president of RM Metals, hopes that phase one of a U.S.-China trade agreement, to be signed this week, can boost domestic manufacturing after months of uncertainty.

“I hope it addresses our needs and pushes everyone else out there to grow the manufacturing sector,” Desai said.

He spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about the trade deal and what it’s been like to run his business during the trade war.

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

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