Tucson business balances canceled, new orders in panic of tariffs

Tucson business balances canceled, new orders in panic of tariffs

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - His business grew with the help of the tax code changes this year, but now a local business owner is frustrated with the Trump administration's latest economic development.

Tariffs on steel and aluminum sent the metal market into a panic, according to Carlos Ruiz, owner of HT Metals in Tucson. Some customers canceled orders because of the higher cost, while others increased their orders out of worry that there would be a scarcity.

"I don't like the panic," said Ruiz. "I'd rather have stability instead of the disruption that we have in the metal market. I'd rather have stability."

That's coming from an owner who's seeing more new work orders than cancellations, so Ruiz considers business to be "really good" right now. He knows it cannot last.

The challenge, according to Ruiz, is not knowing what the prices and availability of certain materials will be. He said most metals ordered into his shop are cut and out the door within a week, but now he has imported metals set aside for weeks, maybe months, at a time.

With the help of changes to the tax code, Ruiz turned a part-time job into a full-time one for his staff. He also added a second water jet cutting table. He believes his small business has grown considerably in the first year of the new administration compared to two terms of President Obama, but he feels "used" by the Trump Administration.

"Things are not going the best for my interest and for the interest for my customers and my community so I have no problem pushing back," he said.

Ruiz said he still has plenty of faith in the president and Republican leadership. He just doesn't appreciate being wrapped up in an economic plan that broadly lumps allies like the European Union with China.

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