DAFC

Rome-Floyd Chamber President Al Hodge (standing) told Development Authority of Floyd County members that a lot of industrial prospects are expressing uncertainly about entering the US market in the wake of new tariffs being imposed by the administration in Washington. (Clockwise from Hodge,  Attorney Scott Smith, Heather Seckman, Larry Morrow, Charles Stevens and Ryan Earnest. / Doug Walker

Hodge told DAFC members Wednesday that he is aware of one company that has been looking at the U.S., including Rome and Floyd County, had decided not to make an investment in the U.S. at this time, but could not say whether or not that decision was directly related to the new tariffs.

Earlier this year, the government imposed 25 percent tariffs on some steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports. The steel tariffs have been expected to hit trading partners like China, Japan, Germany, and Turkey the hardest. Canada and Mexico were added to that list in June.

Many of the nations impacted by the tariffs have enacted their own retaliatory tariffs against U.S. products, including some agricultural products designed to strike at the administrations political support base.

Development Authority of Floyd County Chairman Charles Stevens specifically asked Hodge about the current level of activity in the industrial market and Hodge said it really started to pick up a little over six months.

"It continues to be strong. We had two prospects in one week two weeks ago," Hodge said. Stevens asked if they were solid prospects and Hodge said that many were first time prospects.

"Is there a pending announcement? No sir," Hodge said.

Hodge participated in the Select USA summit held in Washington D.C. earlier this summer for companies that are looking to invest in the US for the first time.

"We create the opportunity to get in  front of them," Hodge said.

The Chamber president also said that his economic development director Heather Seckman had spent some time recently with a new commercial developer that has expressed an interest in Rome. The developer was in town this past Sunday and Monday, taking a look at opportunities and space available in Rome. He said the developer  surfaced with interest in Rome about a month ago.

"Things are very active," Hodge said.