The Trade War Has Begun: What Manufacturers Need to Know about Tariffs

By now you’ve heard the news that the Trump Administration’s attempts to safeguard American industry have resulted in significant tariffs on imports from many of our long-standing partner nations. Tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, for example, have now been added, which will increase the wholesale cost to manufacturers. The Administration is attempting to protect American steel and aluminum producers but many manufacturers rely on imports from Canada, China, and other nations. The new trade was is increasing prices on imported goods, many of which are needed by American manufacturers to meet demand.

What’s a manufacturer to do?

It’s going to be harder than ever to complete on price. When you can’t compete on price, it’s time to focus on three things:

  1. Efficiency – can you improve efficiency to lower internal costs to maintain the profit margin?
  2. Quality – customers may be willing to pay more for noticeable quality improvements over less costly goods from competitors.
  3. Customer Service – excelling at customer service will help you keep existing customers coming back for more orders. Repeat orders may lower marketing costs.

Although it would be nice if tariffs went away, they aren’t going away soon. These new tariffs are just another bump in the manufacturing road. Whether it’s a strike, a trade war, or new taxes, manufacturers must always be aware of the changing economic landscape and market conditions and react promptly to maintain margins and ROI.

JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing offers technology to help you improve efficiency. Learn more about how JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing can help your manufacturing business succeed, both now and in the future, contact JobOps at