Tariffs hurting America’s foodservice equipment manufacturers

Tariffs on Chinese imports, along with tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, are making it more expensive to produce the commercial equipment and supplies that feed our troops, nourish school children, help the sick and create family memories. According to a recent North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) survey[1], tariffs are negatively impacting companies whose products make it possible for millions of people to enjoy meals away from home at military bases, schools, hospitals, restaurants and elsewhere.

More than 80 percent of respondents to NAFEM’s recent survey reported that the tariffs have negatively impacted their businesses. Specifically:

  • 50 percent said tariffs on Chinese imports are impacting their ability to compete and 53 percent said these tariffs are hurting sales;
  • 56 percent said that tariffs on imported steel and aluminum have impaired their ability to compete and 47 percent said these tariffs are hurting sales.

The majority of NAFEM members surveyed also reported that tariffs on Chinese imports and imported steel and aluminum are raising material costs by anywhere from 6 to 15 percent.

“The survey clearly demonstrates that tariffs are negatively impacting U.S. businesses, which doesn’t bode well for U.S. jobs and a strong economy,” said NAFEM President Joe Carlson, CFSP, president, Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis. “Trade wars have no winners. Now is the time for talks, not tariffs. We’re encouraged by recent Congressional action to work toward a solution to unfair trade practices. We need a solution that does not include tariffs that ultimately hurt American workers and consumers.”

Foodservice equipment is a $13.5 billion U.S. industry. Approximately 60 percent of NAFEM members are small- to medium-size businesses – the backbone of the American economy – employing people throughout the country.

[1] NAFEM surveyed its 550 members in January 2019. Eight percent of members responded.