Hoosiers discuss tariffs

Business owners, farmers, policymakers, and economists raise concerns about trade

Indiana business leaders, farmers, economists, and policymakers joined Sen. Richard Lugar at the International Center in Indianapolis for a town hall meeting to discuss the toll tariffs have taken on Indiana’s economy. The event was part of the nonpartisan Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, which is dedicated to highlighting the effects of the trade war on Americans across the country. The full webcast of the town hall can be viewed here and photos of the event can be found here.

“Furniture retailers across the country are concerned that a prolonged trade war with China will lead to higher prices for consumers,” said Jim Kittle, Chairman of Kittle’s Furniture. “The home furnishing industry will see reduced sales as a result of tariffs, which will ultimately lead to fewer domestic retail jobs across the country.”

“Today, we farm about 5000 acres and raise primarily corn and soybeans,” said Indiana soybean farmer Brent Bible. “I’m supportive of the Trump administration, but I have a lot of concerns about current actions that have been taken on trade and tariffs. The fact that China is our number one soybean customer makes us very vulnerable. Our farm and many others like ours have already been the first casualties of a trade war.”

Panelists at the town hall included:

  • Senator Richard Lugar
  • Kent Yeager, Agriculture Liaison, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Andrew Kossack, State Director, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN)
  • Brent Bible, Soybean and Corn Farmer, Indiana
  • Dr. Michael Hicks, Economist, Ball State University
  • Jim Kittle, Chairman, Kittles Furniture
  • Grant Monahan, President, Indiana Retail Council
  • Steve Bohman, Vice President, Global Production, Vera Bradley
  • Doris Anne Sadler, President, World Trade Center Indianapolis
  • Dana Huber, Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, Huber Orchard, Winery, & Vineyards
  • Aaron Whitesel, Government Affairs, DuPont and Corteva Agrisciences
  • Brian Kuehl, Executive Director, Farmers for Free Trade

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 100 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. The campaign’s next stop will be in Philadelphia to hear from Pennsylvanians about the regional impacts they are suffering because of tariffs.

The campaign recently released an interactive searchable map (TariffsHurt.com) that allows users to find stories across the country of how tariffs are impacting local communities. Learn more about the campaign here, or read about us in the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TariffsHurt.