Local company prepares for possible tariffs by purchasing steel in advance

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Eastern Iowa businesses are keeping a close eye on tariff talks happening in Washington D.C.

President Donald Trump wants to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, saying it will help America metal manufacturers compete worldwide. On Wednesday the White House said the plan might exempt some countries from the tariffs.

Kinzler Construction Services operates in Cedar Rapids. It uses a lot of steel for certain kinds of insulation.

"We started hearing murmurings and so we started to stock up on steel," general manager Craig Coder said.

The company is opening a new 30,000 square foot location near the Eastern Iowa Airport in April so they started buying early.

"We will be stocking it fully functional, the full line of steel studs and track and all the other accessories," Coder said.

It was a risk they were willing to take hoping to beat the possible cost increase.

Even if it happens Coder isn't too worried about the future of the industry.

"Construction as a whole is very resilient to things like this. I think Iowa construction will still be healthy," Coder said.