Previewing the Ohio Primary: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

Ahead of the Ohio primary, it is important to spotlight the many ways that tariffs have damaged the state’s economy, as well as the threat they continue to pose for businesses and communities across the United States. 

According to data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, Ohio taxpayers have paid $1.7 billion in additional tariffs since the beginning of the U.S.-China trade war. Trade plays a crucial role in the state’s economy, helping to support 1.4 million jobs across Ohio. What’s worse, the trade war could cost the state 76,500 jobs if no action is taken. 

This is precisely why candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination must tell Ohio voters their plans to remove all tariffs and finally bring an end to the harmful trade war. 

As Ohio businesses have experienced first-hand, the tariffs put in place by the Trump administration are taxes that are paid by Americans, not China. Walter Spiegel, chief compliance officer at Standard Textile, recently described to the Cincinnati Enquirer what the increased tariff costs mean for Ohio businesses:

“Tariffs are paid by the importer – that’s us, that’s not China … It’s taking cash out of the pocket of a company and paying the government. That’s less money to create jobs, expand, buy new equipment or to hire new employees.”

Unfortunately, as businesses continue to feel pressure from the trade war with China, those tariffs translate into higher prices for us all. Gary Yacoubian, who owns the Youngstown-based speaker company SVS Sound, described to Axios late last year what continued tariffs could mean for Ohio businesses and consumers in the year ahead:

“If the tariffs remain, I’m going to have to start making moves … Meaning: the consumer will pay, and I’ll pay, and then employees will pay, if we don’t grow according to plan.”

The Phase One Deal made important progress towards providing Ohio’s manufacturers and farmers some relief from the trade war, but much work remains to be done. Ohio and other swing states have been among the hardest hit by the trade war, and presidential candidates who hope to win in November need to show that they’re dedicated to ending tariffs.

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting Ohio residents ahead of the primary, please contact