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Engine maker Cummins ‘concerned’ about tariffs, trade war

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Fears of a trade war over tariffs were growing Wednesday.

In fact, one of Indiana’s largest manufacturers, Cummins, has a close eye on trade talks between President Donald Trump and the rest of the world.

Jon Mills, director of external communications with Cummins, said, “We are concerned. We’ve had teams looking at how do we offset the costs to the company. If we’re gonna keep escalating tariffs, then it’s only gonna be more pronounced in the way it impacts companies like ours.”

Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins, makes engines and other heavy equipment in Indiana, and globally. Mills said two tariffs in particular, could sting.

“We will feel the tariff impacts from steel and aluminum,” he said. “We’ll also feel it on the castings, cylinder heads, cam shafts we import.”

Basically, the company will deal with tariffs on their imports and exports.

“In some cases, we import a small number of off-highway engines to the United States. Those would also be impacted by the tariffs,” the communications director said. “Any time we’re looking at harming or upsetting our trading partners by placing tariffs and incurring retaliatory tariffs, there’s going to be an impact.”
Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger on Wednesday told the New York Times the tariff changes could lead to a loss in sales and restrict the company’s growth. 

Mills said, “Tariffs and (an) escalating tariff war really does harm to American workers, American businesses and American farmers. We just think it’s the wrong approach.”

The communication director said if you’re one of the roughly 10,000 people in Indiana who work for Cummins, you do not have to worry about losing your job.