ICYMI: How tariffs hurt Texas companies and why they must be used cautiously

From the op-ed - This month I heard directly from Kennedy Fabricating, a steel fabrication company from Splendora, Texas, which is in Montgomery County, regarding the impact of tariffs on day-to-day operations and longterm planning. Kevin Kennedy, president of the company his father started 30 years ago that now employs over 350 people, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, which I lead, and shared that tariffs are making his business less competitive.

“These tariffs have eliminated imported steel overnight, and without any competition, U.S. steel producers have raised prices over 40 percent. This means that a company in China can now purchase a raw steel beam from a Chinese mill at a 40 percent discount, drill two holes in it, and ship it to the U.S. as a fabricated good without a tariff. And it’s not just China. One of our Canadian competitors just went from a position of losing projects to us, to now winning projects at our expense, because they can import raw steel to Canada without a tariff and purchase it 40 percent cheaper than we can from our own domestic suppliers. This . . . has already cost us millions of dollars in work,” Kennedy testified.

Kennedy’s experience highlights why it is vitally important to use a targeted line of attack in enforcing our rights and imposing tariffs. I appreciate that President Trump is taking a measured approach by putting in place a process to exempt products and countries that are not the problem, and providing an opportunity for China to change its ways. u

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady is a Republican who represents Texas’ 8th district around The Woodlands area and chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.

"Tariffs are taxes and will ultimately be passed on to consumers."