Family owned Nebraska retailer says tariffs will cause ‘sticker shock’ for consumers, hurt small businesses

“We couldn’t be more discouraged by this ongoing trade war and what it means for our family owned company that has been in business for more than 70 years."

Ron Romero
NRF Member and Owner of Schaefer’s TV and Appliance

WASHINGTON — At an event in Washington today featuring small business owners, manufacturers and a farmer harmed by tariffs, the owner of a Nebraska electronics and appliance store represented the National Retail Federation and discussed how the growing trade war will hurt his business and customers.

“We couldn’t be more discouraged by this ongoing trade war and what it means for our family owned company that has been in business for more than 70 years,” said Ron Romero, an NRF member and owner of Schaefer’s TV and Appliance, an independent retail business based in Lincoln, Neb. “We were only given a week’s notice in some cases to prepare for this latest tariff onslaught that couldn’t have come at a worse time as we approach the holiday shopping season, a very important selling season of the year.”

“Tariffs are taxes that will cause sticker shock for our customers and ultimately lead to fewer sales and make it harder for us to grow and create jobs in our community,” Romero said. “The majority of the appliances we sell are assembled by domestic manufacturers but rely on imported components that are being hit by tariffs. It simply doesn’t make sense why Washington is making it more expensive to produce goods here in the United States. That will only mean higher costs for American families and small businesses like mine.”

Romero said the latest round of tariffs announced by the administration would lead to price increases passed on to consumers for dishwashers, refrigerators and other appliances in his stores, which employ more than 90 Nebraskans.

Romero spoke at a “Trade Builds America” forum co-sponsored by the National Retail Federation, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, Farmers for Free Trade, the North American Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

NRF and more than 100 organizations recently launched a multi-industry coalition — Americans for Free Trade — aimed at opposing tariffs. The new coalition is coordinating with Farmers for Free Trade in a multi-million dollar national campaign known as Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, which is focused on amplifying the stories of American businesses, farmers and workers harmed by tariffs.  

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.