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United Technologies CEO Advice to Trump on Tariffs: “These are a Bad Idea”

October 12, 2018, 5:48 PM UTC

United Technologies CEO Gregory Hayes has some advice about tariffs for President Trump. “Mr. President, these are a bad idea,” he says. “Tit for tat trade wars, nobody wins.”

Speaking with Fortune’s Susie Gharib, Hayes says he does not want to see a trade war between the U.S. and China because it could hurt American businesses and consumers. With revenues of $66 billion, United Technologies (UTX), the giant aerospace company, sells aircraft systems and components to Boeing (BA), its biggest customer. It is also the largest manufacturer of Otis elevators and Carrier air conditioners in China. Hayes worries that U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum could jeopardize Boeing’s multi-billion dollar contract to sell airplanes in China. And that, in turn, would impact UTC’s business.

“Ultimately, tariffs are just a tax on the consumer. When our costs of our air conditioners go up, the cost of our engines go up, you see that in the ticket price of a new air conditioner. You see that in the ticket prices of a new airline,” he says. “I think the unintended consequences of tariffs are what worry me.”

Hayes also disagrees with President Trump’s claim that tariffs will save American plants and jobs. “The fact is that jobs move where the customers are. We’re not going to bring any of those jobs back because of these tariffs,” explains Hayes. “It’s a very short-sighted view and not a very informed view.”

Watch the video above for more from our interview with Hayes.