Local affect of the new steel and aluminum tariffs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local affect of the new steel and aluminum tariffs

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TRI-CITIES, WA - Just last week, President Trump called for raising tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum manufacturers.

There's three parts to this - you have the manufacturers of aluminum and steel, the industries in need of the aluminum and steel for their products (such as cars, soda cans or even building structures), and then you have the foreign suppliers of aluminum and steel... like China.

The strong reliance on Chinese steel and aluminum is because of the low prices they offer. The idea of the tariff is to stop our reliance on Chinese imports, and return jobs and money to the U.S. That's just the foreign trade part.

As far as the affect the tariffs will have locally, industries may see a higher demand for aluminum and steel produced in the U.S. This which would in turn drive up the prices for companies making soda cans, cars, or anything with steel or aluminum in it.

In our area, John Springer, Vice President for Metal Fab in Tri-Cities, says they're already preparing for this.

"Short-term there is going to be some price increase almost immediately and then we may have some steel shortages," said Springer. "But I don't think we will have much because of the early announcement."

NBC Right Now also talked to the company that supplies Metal Fab with their products: Pasco-based Pacific Steel. The branch manager says they've already had to increase prices for their customers, but customers were aware that it was coming because of the President's announcement.

Long-term, this could have a negative effect on foreign trade, but again the goal is to bring those jobs back into the U.S.