Trade Cases

Survey: Tariffs Hurting Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers

Written by Tim Triplett

Manufacturers of foodservice equipment say the Trump administration tariffs on Chinese goods and imported steel and aluminum have raised the cost of materials by 6-15 percent and made it more difficult for American companies to compete.

According to a January North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) survey, the tariffs are hurting 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. About 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 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, president of 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. NAFEM is a trade association of more than 550 foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers providing products for food preparation, cooking, storage and table service. Eight percent of NAFEM’s 550 members responded to the January survey.

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