Businesses discuss Kansas impact of new China tariffs

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

After all the talk in Washington, tariffs on China have finally kicked in. And while the goal is to make America more competitive, Kansas consumers could see an impact very soon. 

Think of a tariff as tax on a specific item. With the new round of tariffs, $34 billion worth of manufactured goods that China sends to the U.S. will be taxed when they enter the country. In turn, China is issuing similar tariffs on goods we send them. 

There are more than 800 specific items subject to the new tariffs that were implemented Friday morning. Some of the items that directly affect Kansas are things like airplane parts, and soybeans.   

Karyn Page is the president of Kansas Global Trade Services. She says these tariffs are unnecessary, and cause unnecessary economic strain to Kansas businesses. Her fear is that with the added stress this could put on local businesses, it could eventually force companies to downsize. Or worse. 

"We've never won from a tariff war," Page says. "And the folks who lose most, again, are small businesses and ag producers." 

The owner of McGinty Machine Company, Don McGinty, says we'll see the cost of material going up. 

"We've probably already seen that happen. If this doesn't get resolved in the short term, then I think it's going to have some effect in the long term." 

McGinty has been in business in Wichita since 1948. The company manufactures airplane parts for companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Even though the new tariffs directly affect his company, McGinty thinks there could be a positive outcome. 

"I think Trump is trying to get the balance more level. Let's say they drop their tariff from 25 to 15. It won't be down as low as ours, but that's another 10%. That's going to give more jobs to the American people."   

Only time will tell what the effect of these tariffs will be in the long run, but everyone is hoping for the same outcome.  

Karyn Page hopes that companies will be able to endure the increased taxes on their supply chains long enough that the nation's leaders will come to a reasonable solution.

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