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“We are being hurt because of the cost increase,” said Sohel Sareshwala, the company’s owner and president. To squeeze more output from existing equipment, he is “running the machines in a lights-out operation.” After his regular 10-person staff leaves for the day at 6 p.m., Sareshwala said, the plant is experimenting with slowing down the machines and letting them run unattended for four more hours.
For large and small businesses around the nation, the impact of tariffs is expected to grow on Friday, when the Trump administration is scheduled to place additional duties on $34bn of Chinese products, many used in American manufacturing. China has said it will respond immediately with sanctions of its own.
Sareshwala is among a growing number of importers and exporters departing from business as usual because of the gathering storm of trade sanctions.
The 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum that President Trump first threatened in March and put into effect in June precipitated a string of retaliatory tariffs from China and other trading partners including Germany, Mexico and Canada. Trump has said that in the long run, the tariffs will save jobs in the protected industries, and safeguard national security.
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