Polaris Industries CEO Says Additional Tariffs Could Be "Catastrophic" To The Company And It's Employees If They're Implemented

Thu 5-9-2019

(Medina, Mn.)-- The head of Polaris Industries says the potential for additional tariffs on Chinese goods could be "catastrophic" to the company. CEO Scott Wine expressed his concern in an interview Tuesday with CNBC.

He made the comments after the Trump administration announced a plan to increase tariffs on Chinese goods up to 25 percent. China, in turn, is threatening further retaliation.

Wine indicated Polaris has already incurred about $90 million in additional tariff costs this year, stemming from the 10 percent tariff already in place on some Chinese imports, along with retaliatory tariffs on motorcycles imported from the U.S into Europe. Those were imposed as a result of steel and aluminum tariffs.

Wine said the new tariffs, if they're implemented Friday, would cost Polaris Industries another $195 million to $200 million. He said that would amount to roughly a third of the company's net income. Wine said that would be devastating to the company's employees who own five percent of the company through a stock ownership plan.

He said the additional tariffs could force Polaris to move jobs out of the country. 

Polaris Industries manufactures the Indian line of motorcycles at a plant in Spirit Lake.

In a related development, Wine has said Polaris Industries has applied for an exemption from the newest round of tariffs, should they be imposed, saying he hopes it will be granted.