Previewing the Michigan Primary: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

As we approach the Michigan primary, it is important to remember the damage that tariffs have done to businesses, communities, and families across the state, as well as the risk they continue to pose to Michigan’s economy. 

As research from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland shows, Michigan taxpayers have paid $2 billion in additional tariffs to date thanks to the trade war with China, with costs only projected to increase. Given that trade supports 1.1 million jobs in the state, this is especially alarming because the trade war could cost Michigan 61,700 jobs.

Democratic candidates should tell Michiganders how they plan to bring the trade war to an end and finally eliminate the tariffs that are weighing down the state’s economy. 

Michigan manufacturing companies in particular bear a significant portion of the burden from the trade war, as Coliant Corp. CEO John Swiatek recently revealed to the Detroit Free Press

“The current tariffs and trade war have made it nearly impossible for a company like ours to bring in revenues from around the world to here in Michigan … Meanwhile, other high-tech countries like Germany and China are enjoying the competitive benefit of this disruption.”

Beyond manufacturing, small businesses have been feeling the pain from tariffs as well. Unfortunately, as small businesses deal with higher costs from tariffs, they have no choice but to increase prices for consumers. Barb Stein, who owns Great Northern Trading Co., explained small businesses’ predicament to MLive:

“I’m hearing from my suppliers that some have already instituted a price increase, some are promising one at certain deadlines … It’s definitely going to affect prices for consumers.”

While the Phase One Deal makes some strides toward providing relief from the trade war, plenty of work still remains. If Democratic candidates want to show voters how they will help support Michigan’s economy and jobs, they should talk about their plans to remove all tariffs and protect Michigan’s economy.If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting Michiganders ahead of the primary, please contact