Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ned Lamont decried the tariffs that have impacted Connecticut manufacturers.
“What regular people in Connecticut have got to realize is how this trade policy impacts the state of Connecticut,” Lamont said during a visit to Tower Laboratories, a Clinton-based maker of products that fizz like alka seltzer tablets, cold medications, and denture cleansers.
President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on thousands of products imported to the United States, and in turn, other countries like Canada, China, and Mexico have slapped tariffs on American goods, leading to higher costs for manufacturers.
In the case of Tower Laboratories, the company’s president, Norm Needleman says they are being hit with higher costs for aluminum and stock which are each used for packaging and shipment of the effervescent tablets to customers all over the world. Needleman is currently running for State Senate as a Democrat against Republican Melissa Ziobron. The district includes Clinton where his company is located.
“I’m the canary in the cave for the consumer. The prices are going to go up for the consumers if not already,” he said.
The event was an effort by Ned Lamont to tie policies of the Trump administration to his Republican opponent Bob Stefanowski, despite the fact that no governor, Democrat or Republican, has any control over trade policy that derives at the federal level.
Lamont acknowledged that fact, but said the issues hurting manufacturers eventually hit Connecticut consumers.
“I can’t implement tariffs or implement them as a governor but I can work very closely with our Congressional delegation so they can realize how important it is that we make sure that there’s no trade war.”
NBC Connecticut reached out to Bob Stefanowski's campaign and received the following response from campaign spokesperson Kendall Marr.
"It's ironic that Ned Lamont is talking about harming our state's businesses, considering his desire to raise taxes yet again after eight years of the disastrous Malloy administration. Those policies directly resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and decimated Connecticut's economy. Stefanowski's plan to hold the line on state spending and lower taxes will provide direct relief to businesses struggling to cope with the Lamont-Malloy economy."