Latest ripple effect from US, China trade fight could wash up on Cleveland’s shores and impact local businesses

Local manufacturer Jergens has a strong presence in China.

China trade battle could soon impact local businesses

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Jergens, a Cleveland-based company with 25 salespeople in China, is keeping a close eye on the trade battle between the United States and China.

The company, which employs 400 people, manufacturers components to exacting specifications, which their customers use to create their products.

Jergens CEO, Jack Schron, is just back from a trade show in China.

Last year the United States raised tariffs on imported steel, and that led U.S. steel companies to raise their price; and, according to Schron, it led to the first round of adjustments for Jergens.

“We had an increase in our cost of raw materials which we’ve been able to pass along, but eventually if it has the effect of slowing down the economy and has an impact on slowing down our sales, then yes I am worried about that,” Schron said.

Schron, who is also a member of Cuyahoga County Council, says he understands why the President is playing hardball with China as it relates to trade, but on the other hand, he feels a huge responsibility to his employees.

“If somehow China just says were going to retaliate by shutting off access to our markets then, yes, that would be tough for us,” he said.

The U.S. stock market certainly reacted negatively to the trade dispute as the Dow lost 2.3 percent on Monday.

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