Local leaders talk trade and tariffs


China has listed $50 Billion in potential tariffs on U.S. products and that includes beef and the aviation industry.

City leaders point out that 20 percent of the Wichita economy is tied to exports.

“How everything is going to affect Wichita and our economy is not yet well known,” says James Clendenin, Wichita City Council member. “What we do know is that it will.”

Clendenin says tariffs on the aviation industry could hurt. But he is taking a wait and see approach.

Teal Aviation Group analyst Richard Aboulafia says Spirit AeroSystems could be affected.

“For some reason, the Trump administration included aerospace components in the trade complaint and tariff plan yesterday,” says Aboulafia. “Predictably, the Chinese came back with a very calculated response. So far, it doesn’t include a whole lot of what Wichita does accept for the fuselage of the 737 over there at Spirit.”

Kansas Global Trade Services in Wichita says this is not a trade war. But, they are watching very closely.

“Companies are dealing with the aftermath of the (tariff) announcements even though not all the tariffs have been implemented already,” says CEO Karyn Page, Kansas Global Trade Services. “So companies will have to react. They will need to come up with a response. I think it’s too soon to say it’s a trade war but we are going to continue to see an escalation of these types of trade remedies.”

KSN asked SpiritAerosystems for a response.

Fred Malley with SpiritAerosystems communications said, “Spirit is closely following any potential changes in the U.S. trade relationship with China, and we are actively analyzing the situation to determine impacts to our business.”

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