Wis. Senator Johnson discusses tariffs, trade with NAFEM members

Senator Johnson (R-Wis.) listens to NAFEM members Larry Moon, CFSP and NAFEM president Joe Carlson, CFSP, Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc.

Senator Johnson, (R-Wis.) meets with NAFEM members at Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc., Milwaukee.   

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), whose first job was as a dishwasher at a Walgreens grill and is the sole manufacturer in the U.S. Senate, met with NAFEM members at Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wis., May 31.

Hosted by NAFEM President Joe Carlson, CFSP, president, Lakeside, members participating in the meeting included:

  • Jim Koleski, chief financial officer, Alto-Shaam, Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wis.;
  • Mike Miller, chief operating officer, Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc.;
  • Larry Moon, CFSP, chairman and chief operating officer, Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc.;
  • Richard Palmersheim, president and chief executive officer, Perlick Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis.; and
  • David Rolston, CFSP, chief executive officer, Hatco Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis. and

The discussion focused on the impact of tariffs and other trade-related issues on the commercial foodservice equipment industry. Senator Johnson shared that the administration believes in using tariffs as leverage to “shake up the system.” He also advised that U.S. businesses “must speak with a unified voice to emphasize that free and open trade is good for consumers.”

Senator Johnson has been a vocal critic of tariffs. “Tariffs hurt trading partners, business and our own citizens,” he said. He has shared this perspective regularly with national media and in direct communication with President Trump.

Following the discussion with NAFEM members, about 30 Lakeside employees joined Senator Johnson for a question and answer session.