Gov. Matt Bevin says it’s too early to say what he thinks of President Donald Trump’s proposal to institute tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum even though the policy could have a big impact on Kentucky.
The tariff could benefit Kentucky aluminum manufacturers like Braidy Industries—the company that Bevin helped attract to the state with a package of economic incentives—and Century Aluminum, which announced it would hire 300 new workers in Hancock County if the tariff went into effect.
But the proposal has stoked fears of a trade war—a European Union trade leader has threatened to impose tariffs on U.S.-made products like steel, cars, cranberries, orange juice, and Kentucky’s signature product—bourbon.
Bevin says it’s a waste of time to speculate on the effects of the potential tariffs.
“The president does this, he likes to create dialogue, get people to talk. Think about this: it would be good for some and not good for others, that’s the reality of it anytime something like this is done.”
According to the Kentucky Distillers Association, Bourbon is an $8.5 billion industry in Kentucky and employs 17,500 people in the state.