West Michigan already feeling the brunt of new tariffs, expert says

Posted at 6:27 AM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 06:27:29-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Local experts say tariffs recently imposed by President Trump are beginning to hurt the economy in West Michigan.

Grand Valley State University economist Brian Long has spent the last few weeks surveying local business leaders about the tariffs.

After more than a year of solid growth, they say business is down across the board. Auto sales have especially plummeted, and so have sales at auto part stores, too.

Long says many business leaders are putting expansion plans on hold now until they can see where the trade war is taking us and how much it will cost.

He says local firms producing capital equipment are still benefiting from the recently passed tax advantages for new capital investments, but rising costs are a major concern.

Many local industrial distributors reported flat business conditions for July, some of which may be seasonal.