The Trump administration has so far avoided a trade fight with Europe by temporarily exempting it from hefty steel and aluminum tariffs. Yet the move extends the uncertainty weighing on small businesses that use those materials, a much broader group than you'd think.
For example, Gary Cammack, the owner of Cammack Ranch Supply in Union Center, South Dakota, worries that he will have to raise prices on barbed wire that he sells to area ranchers, from $60.95 a roll to as high as $67.
Amid the uncertainty, there are some strategies small businesses can follow to ease the blow of trade fights: Be informed about how your business might be affected. Look for supply alternatives. Work with bigger partners. Polish your brand. And look for loopholes like exemptions from tariffs.