BERLIN, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont business leaders say President Trump's tariffs could cost them money. They sat down Friday with Congressman Peter Welch at a roundtable discussion to talk about their biggest concerns.
Leaders from Burton were at that meeting. They say they could lose a lot, and they're not alone.
So why will tariffs on China end up costing you more money? Our Ike Bendavid reports.
Inside the Vermont Chamber of Commerce building in Berlin, dozens of business leaders sat down to talk with Congressman Peter Welch about how tariffs are affecting them.
"It's incredible how it impacts everybody in our cultural business to high tech to right to somebody like Burton who makes recreational products," said Josee Larocque, the senior vice president of operations at Burton.
Larocque says Burton, which is headquartered in Vermont, imports some products from China.
"Helmets, bindings, some snowboard boots. When they are brought into the U.S. they will incur this incredibly high tariff. It's not something we planned for, which is a problem," Larocque said.
With the current tariffs set by President Donald Trump, it's expected to cost the company as much as $5 million. And that could have an impact on consumers.
"When things happen this quickly, we can't plan for them," Larocque said. "We will in, some cases, have to pass this on to consumers or take it ourselves."
"These tariffs are a self-inflicted wound on our economy," said Rep. Welch, D-Vermont.
Welch says that after hearing from Vermonters, he knows the current tariffs, especially against China, are hurting relationships with consumers and businesses.
"They lose that person as a customer, that company as a customer," Welch said.
He says a bipartisan bill is being introduced in Washington, aimed at helping not only Vermonters but other businesses around the country.
"Whether we are successful in that legislation, it's really starting to send a bipartisan signal to the president it's time to re-evaluate because these tariffs are hurting local jobs in Vermont and all across the country," Welch said.
Uncertainty in Washington and uncertainty for companies like Burton.
"We would like more heads up," Larocque said. "We would like more time to plan."
Burton says their pricing is planned out years in advance, so the products on the shelves now aren't affected by tariffs. But if nothing changes, you may start to feel it in your wallet.