World Grain - May 2018 - 36
Steel prices, trade war on the minds of grain bin
manufacturers at this year's event in Denver, Colorado, U.S.
by Arvin Donley
s several thousand members of the U.S. grain
industry gathered in Denver, Colorado, U.S.,
March 25-27, for the Grain Elevator and
Processing Society (GEAPS) Exchange, the decision
by President Donald Trump to slap tariffs on imported steel was on the minds of many, particularly those
companies that manufacture and sell large steel grain
bins that dot the rural landscape.
Trump announced in March that a 25% tariff would
be imposed on imported steel and 10% on aluminum
from selected countries, most notably China.
"The rise in steel tariffs is a big concern for pretty
much everybody in this room," said Matt Podany,
sales manager, North America, for Chief Agri, from
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is we've positioned ourselves well to help keep our
Jim McDonald, CEO of SCAFCO Grain Systems,
will be affected most by the tariffs are those that
don't buy from domestic steel manufacturers.
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shape," McDonald said. "The companies that buy
foreign-made steel are probably sweating bullets
right now, but the market overall I believe will stabilize. There will be some headwinds in the marketplace but eventually it will balance out."
Another potential concern for the grain industry is Trump's threat to withdraw from the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which
has been in effect between the United States, Mexico
and Canada since 1994.
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agreement will remain in place between the three
countries, but with different terms.
"I don't see us withdrawing from NAFTA," he said.
the latest tariffs are a way to negotiate better terms
with the NAFTA countries and I think was the main
reason for doing it. My understanding is that Canada
and Mexico have carveouts they've negotiated to
avoid the tariffs, so it has worked. I think NAFTA will
May 2018 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com