August 21, 2018

Chamber weighs in on tariffs

Recent federal actions as it relates to trade and tariffs have a significant impact on the region. The Chamber has engaged members to understand and share the projected impact on our local economy and has weighed in with the following statement. Please continue to share how tariffs impact your business by emailing us at

 International trade is a key component of the Cincinnati regional economy. According to the International Trade Administration, our annual trade value in 2016 was roughly $143.2 billion in imports and $132.2 billion in exports, the latter of which ranks as the 11th largest export market in the United States, ahead of major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta. Additionally, our region is home to two foreign trade zones and has the largest inland port in the country.

Recent developments on the international trade front are hurting many Cincinnati businesses. Tariffs are driving up prices across multiple sectors, causing materials shortages and other significant interruptions for many local businesses with integrated supply chains. Businesses cannot simply absorb these increased costs and remain competitive, so they are forced to pass the additional expenses to end consumers of their products, whether they are other businesses or individual consumers.

Retaliatory tariffs from China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union are also making US exports uncompetitive in the global marketplace. In Ohio alone, nearly $3.3 billion worth of exports are now subject to tariffs from other countries. That number will only increase if retaliation escalates into a full-blown trade war—an outcome that would be disastrous for the 1.5 million jobs supported by trade in the Ohio economy.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber urges the Administration to recognize the detrimental effects recent trade policies have had on businesses within the Cincinnati region. Now is the time to swiftly resolve international disputes to keep Cincinnati businesses competitive and thriving. If diplomatic negotiations are not successful, we call on Congress to find solutions. Businesses need certainty and an escalating trade war hurts jobs, our economy, and our region.

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The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber grows the vibrancy and economic prosperity of the Cincinnati region. It does this by serving as a bold voice for the interests of its nearly 4,000-member businesses and their more than 300,000 employees.

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