The first set of tariffs were announced by the U.S. on May 31, targeting the steel and aluminum exports of Canada, Mexico, and European Union nations. Tariffs have indirect and unintended consequences throughout the economies they target. In this instance, small businesses are often dealing with the supply chain asking for higher costs that cannot be quickly passed onto customers. It means more time thinking about pricing, renegotiating and managing cash flow.
When asking our local contractors in Estevan of how they have been dealing with the Tariffs. A few have made comments about how they are not being directly affected.
Dale Schnell a local contractor states, "A little bit in terms of supply for vinyl fencing, and things like that. Like our steel, really small dollar figures thankfully. We're trying to keep our prices the same, and just pay a little bit more for material. It hasn't affected us personally, which is good."
As other construction contractors around the city all continue to mention how they have been affected, Marian Wilson had this to say. "We don't know yet, not everyone has been clear on it yet. We've talked to different equipment dealers and they're not too sure yet of how that is going to affect us. As far as ordering parts or getting things across the line, we haven't got an answer on that yet."
Wilson continues, "People in the United States don't really know whats going on quite yet." And after doing research when Tariffs were initially placed on certain industry items, "We had talked to our suppliers and they were not clear as to what was going on. And how it was going to affect us."
Even if tariffs are here to stay, the real impacts of these economic shifts are never felt until years after implementation.