Carrie Grey points to a stack of unwelcome mail on a conference table in the offices of Renegade RV, one of the leading U.S. producers of high-end recreational vehicles. She’s buried in bad news from most of her about 350 suppliers.
“We obtained letters from 75 % of them demanding tariff-related price increases,” explains Grey, Renegade’s materials manager.
About 85% of the recreational automobiles sold in the USA are built-in and around Elkhart County, making it a popular stop for politicians to tout their visions for U.S. manufacturing – together with President Trump, who staged a rally here last May.
And yet this uniquely American manufacturing sector has been caught within the crossfire of Trump’s trade war, based on interviews with business insiders and economists, together with data showing a steep sales decline amid rising costs and consumer costs. The industry has taken hits from United States tariffs on steel and aluminum and other duties on scores of Chinese-made RV components, from plumbing fixtures to electronic components to vinyl seat covers.
Walorski is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump’s tariffs, although she steps lightly. In an announcement, she praised the President’s tax cuts and other policies for helping fuel economic growth.
“On the same time, I’ve not been afraid to stand up for Hoosiers when tariffs and retaliatory measures have put these gains at risk,” she mentioned, utilizing a common nickname for Indiana residents. “As I’ve instructed the president, we need to put a stop to China’s unfair trade practices by utilizing a scalpel, not an ax.”