Nearly a year after the U.S. imposed tariffs on imported steel, the higher prices have been a godsend for Byer Steel Co. The family-owned Ohio company last year posted its first profit in four years and surprised workers with year-end bonuses.
The tariffs “are giving us the ability to get off our knees for a minute,” said Burke Byer, whose great-grandfather founded the Cincinnati company a century ago. “We’re not so hand-to-mouth.”
The same tariffs have pinched another small family business: Laclede Chain Manufacturing Co. The St. Louis-based maker of steel chains had been on a growth spurt before higher steel prices forced it to refocus on cost cutting.