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Trade War With China Impacts Transit Investments in Chicago

A 25 percent tariff on steel imports could eventually be passed to transit riders in the form of higher fares.
July 16, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Daniel Schwen

Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese products are driving up the price of a project to replace about half of the Chicago Transit Authority's rail fleet, reports Mary Wisniewski.

"The transit agency and the manufacturer of the new cars disagree about who will bear the additional costs," according to Wisniewski. "If the CTA has to pay more, riders could eventually end up footing the bill through higher fares."

CRRC Sifang America, a subsidiary of a Chinese rail car company, has a $1.3 billion, 10-year contract "to produce up to 846 rail cars for the CTA at a manufacturing facility in Hegewisch." Though the cars are being assembled in Chicago, "about 15% of the parts, including stainless steel rail car shells, are imported from China and subject to a 25% tariff on imported Chinese goods imposed by the Trump administration."

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Published on Friday, July 12, 2019 in The Chicago Tribune
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