Steel company owner thought Trump's tariffs were bad, but now he's changed his mind

Despite his original tariff fear, he says his company had 'a pretty good year'

When President Trump first imposed tariffs on foreign steel in 2018, steel company owner James Howard didn’t approve.

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“As soon as they even talked about a tariff, we were getting price increases, and they were rapidly going up,” Howard told FOX Business in April 2018.

But he’s since changed his tune.

“We've really had a pretty good year,” Howard said Friday in a new interview on FOX Business’ “The Claman Countdown.” “What I was speculating ... all those price increases and stuff, it didn't have a big effect.”

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Howard owns Howard Steel, a North Carolina company that manufactures gas lines, structural steel and equipment for job sites.

In his 2018 FOX Business interview, Howard said he paid about 38 cents for a pound of raw materials from domestic steel producers and the price went up to 68 cents after the tariffs were implemented.

But now, Howard said he hasn’t had issues, hasn’t had to lay any employees off and said he actually has more business than he can handle with the size of his company.

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On Friday, he told FOX Business he still has “a positive outlook” regarding U.S. trade wars and the recently signed deals with Mexico, Canada and China.

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FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this article.