PEORIA — The proposed Trump administration tariffs on steel and aluminum could have an effect on major manufacturers, including Caterpillar, Inc.
The 25 percent import duties under consideration for steel caused a slump in Caterpillar shares Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Asked by the Journal Star for comment on the tariff issue, company spokeswoman Rachel Potts said Caterpillar had none to share.
But at an analyst conference earlier this week company director of investor relations Amy Campbell said for Caterpillar, which sells more than half its equipment overseas, tariffs could hike not only imported but also domestic steel prices, hurting the company's ability to compete with other manufacturers.
Domestic steel prices have been rising recently, Association of Equipment Manufacturers president Dennis Slater told Reuters, with Caterpillar's supply costs climbing at the quickest rate in at least a year during the quarter that ended in December.
The company said at the analyst conference it's still evaluating what a tariff's impact on its supply costs would be. The article notes Caterpillar "has been using long-term supply contracts to give itself cushion against rising prices," a process that could serve as a shield against increased costs for six months at most, Campbell said at the conference.