My widely dispersed family also includes a successful businessman in the California Central Valley agricultural district. His company builds commercial, industrial and agricultural facilities using pre-engineered steel building systems. The agricultural market is a big component of his business plan in an area where farmers need processing plants, warehouses, cold storage buildings and wineries. The buildings are used for tomatoes, cherries, apples, walnuts, almonds and even wine production — products exported abroad. He must plan ahead and manage his construction projects with an eye on both the domestic and global market.
Some of the steel used in the production of the building systems is imported. The president’s 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum will increase the cost of construction of my brother’s buildings.
At the same time, his clients who produce perishable agricultural foods are facing market issues similar to the soybean farmers in the Midwest. Their fruits and vegetable exports are facing higher tariffs and thus a decline in demand. One client had established a new business relationship to export wines to China and has had orders canceled. Reduced demand and decreased production mean less available income to purchase the steel facilities that have climbed in price because of the tariffs.