Trump steel tariffs impacting a robotics company’s $100M annual sales

Despite bringing in $100 million in annual sales, Eckhart Inc. is now faced with crippling steel tariffs forcing the company to make the difficult choice of cutting back or hike its prices.

“With the tariffs that have recently been placed on a lot of the steel in particular that’s getting imported from China, it puts a lot of pressure not just on Eckhart, but a lot of the companies that we compete against in addition to our customers,” the company CEO Andrew Storm said in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman on Monday.

The Warren, Michigan-based manufacturer builds robotics and automated tools for automotive and industrial companies. Some of Eckhart’s clients include industry titans such as Boeing, General Electric, John Deere and Tesla.

U.S. steel prices climbed sharply after the Trump administration announced that it was imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from China.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 200.00 -3.72 -1.83%
GE GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. 158.65 +1.76 +1.12%
DE DEERE & CO. 367.85 +2.80 +0.77%
TSLA TESLA INC. 202.65 +0.77 +0.38%

A significant amount of Eckhart’s building material is made up of steel and aluminum.

“Our prices have gone up significantly,” Storm said. “Double digit increases year-over-year that does put an enormous amount of pressure on our company.”

But according to a report from the Financial Times, U.S. steel prices have fallen below pre-tariff level from a year ago.


Storm said congressional leaders should focus more on how American can start to establish an industrial policy that supports U.S. manufacturers.

“For decades our country has failed on both sides of the political aisle…to establish a national policy that supports American manufactures,” he said, which will prevent Chinese steel from having a profound impact on U.S. manufacturing companies.

Eckhart Inc. has been around for 60 plus years servicing American global manufacturers.