As a potential trade war looms over recently-imposed tariffs on China, Indiana businesses are expressing concern about the fallout. It is estimated that global trade supports more than 800,000 jobs in Indiana, many of those in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. In 2016, Columbus-based Cummins Inc. sold more than 500,000 engines in China. Chief Executive Officer Tom Linebarger says the company’s global footprint generates jobs and investment in Indiana. "Not only do we have our largest R & D facility here, more than 5,000 people in the U.S., their jobs depend on our global manufacturing footprint. So if it weren’t for our business in China, we’re 5,000 jobs shorter in the U.S."
Linebarger and Indy Chamber Chief Economic Development Officer Maureen Krauss talked about the potential trade fallout on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Linebarger says trade uncertainty is a headwind for U.S. manufacturers at a time when the sector is "as well-positioned as we’ve ever been." He admits there are trade issues that need to be dealt with, but not at the expense of open markets. "We are not naïve at all, we know it’s not a level playing field, we know that there are challenges for trade everywhere and those issues should be addressed," said Linebarger. "I just think we want to do it by creating more opportunities for American business, not making it more expensive to operate here."