We often live in our own little world and ignore things that don’t impact us directly.

Take for example the news months ago that President Trump was going to impose higher tariffs with trading partners on things like imported steel and aluminum. I can’t imagine there were too many of us who reacted to that like it was a big deal but again that’s because we’re in our own bubble.

You don’t have to look far to find an example that this international story had local ramifications.

Tower Systems, Inc. has been incorporated in New Jersey for 27 years and operates under three brands, “Atlantic Towers,” “Tower in a Box” and “St. Croix Marine Products.”   They make boating accessories and for the last 12 years have done so from a facility on Hickory Lane in Bayville where they employed 9 full-time workers with another 6 contract employees off site who produce fabricated components that are assembled in Bayville.

Did I mention their boating accessories are manufactured in aluminum and stainless steel which have seen sharp increases in price during the current trade war?

As if absorbing those price increases wasn’t tough enough this local company has had to deal with another obstacle.  Through US government programs they had developed a significant export business with customers in Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

For the first half of this year more than 25% of the US made products they produced were indeed sold and shipped to those locations.

The lobby of Tower Systems in Bayville
The lobby of Tower Systems in Bayville (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

However that all changed a couple of months ago when the Canadian government, in response to the “tariff war” added a significant tax on products shipped into their country.  Since then Tower Systems has seen a 90% drop in shipments to Canada and as a result laid off one full time employee and reduced two others to part time.

In addition with decreased sales comes decreased compensation for their contract employees.

Company president Steve Tull is especially frustrated because they developed this export business with the encouragement and support of the same government now penalizing them and many others.

Again just an example that the big picture often impacts those right in our own backyard.

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