Schumer calls exemption of New York Air Brake from recently-imposed tariffs

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In a personal meeting with US Trade Rep Lighthizer, Schumer calls for the exemption of New York air brake from recently-imposed tariffs; says tariffs will cost New York air brake millions and could jeopardize Upstate jobs.


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, in a personal meeting with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, urged him to exempt New York Air Brake (NYAB) in Watertown, New York – one of the largest private employers in Jefferson County – from tariffs that cost the company millions, benefit a foreign competitor and could jeopardize Upstate jobs. Schumer expressed his concern that the imposed tariffs on these imports, which are not made and cannot be purchased in the U.S., are harming New York Air Brake and not warranted in this case, while benefiting their main competitor, which manufactures in Mexico.


Schumer explained that these tariffs will cost NYAB millions of dollars and could jeopardize jobs. Additionally, according to Schumer, NYAB’s only competitor is not burdened by these costly tariffs, as they produce in Mexico. Schumer detailed that these tariffs are putting NYAB at a competitive disadvantage and could damage the North Country regional economy, and called on USTR Lighthizer to exclude NYAB from the exorbitant tariffs.


“The tariffs on these specialty steel and aluminum products, in this case, are benefiting a foreign competitor, and are doing real harm to NYAB – one of the largest private employers in the North Country – to the tune of millions of dollars lost,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why I met with USTR Lighthizer and urged him to do everything in his power to exempt NYAB from these tariffs. NYAB has been a mainstay of the North Country economy for more than 125 years, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure it is protected from burdensome tariffs that their competition isn’t forced to pay.”


Schumer explained that this year, the administration imposed Section 301 tariffs at a rate of 25% on specialty steel and aluminum products that NYAB uses to make their train brakes. Schumer said that they are having a specifically disproportionate effect on NYAB because their only competitor avoids the US-imposed tariffs as they import their aluminum and steel directly into their factory in Mexico, where they manufacture their products and then ship the finished product to the locomotive factories which are also located in Mexico. Schumer said that because of this, USTR Lighthizer should do everything possible to exempt NYAB from these tariffs, to provide some parity in the marketplace and to protect good-paying jobs.


NYAB was founded in 1890 and maintains its headquarters and primary design, development and manufacturing capabilities in Watertown, New York.  The company continues to be a mainstay of the North Country economy, and employs 500 people at their Watertown factory.  NYAB manufactures various types of air brakes and train control systems for the rail industry around the world.

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