CEO asks for help in import battle

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CEO asks for help in import battle

Trib Today – WARREN – A Warren business is among local companies hopeful that they will be able to take advantage of last week's decision by the federal government to impose new duties on Chinese-government subsidized steel imports.

Monday the chief executive officer of Backyard Buddy in Warren said until now, steep declines in his sales, which he directly attributed to competition from Chinese automotive lift imports, have largely coincided with 50 percent cuts in his work force.

''It just gets harder and harder because of the price difference,'' said Larry Gross, CEO. He said the price difference is about $3,000 between his lifts and those coming from China.

But last week's U.S International Trade Commission ruling to impose duties between 10.36 percent and 15.78 percent on Chinese steel pipe imports is a positive signal for companies like Backyard Buddy. While the decision may not benefit the company directly, it does aim to create equal footing for U.S. producers and offers hope to smaller manufacturers struggling to compete against less expensive Chinese-produced goods.

''The important part is the momentum on putting tariffs on Chinese goods,'' said U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles. ''We're not afraid to do it anymore.''

After last week's action, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, described the decision as an equalizer for the U.S. and Ohio producers to compete globally. ''This ruling will save and create jobs in Lorain, Youngstown, Warren and dozens of communities around the country," Brown said.

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