Actually, for most businesses, it’s the other way round.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll find that tariff levels are inversely proportional to the added value of the products. They’re high for agricultural products, minerals, commodity steel and construction products and the like and they’re low for highly engineered products with high added value built into them. There are some exceptions, such as in the motor industry, where they’re medium-high outside negotiated bilateral deals and FTAs. Of course, when people like the Orange Loon in the White House start trade wars for fun, anything goes, but generally, high tariffs go with low knowledge input.
I work for a business that exports worldwide in what you might call “high tech” (but not IT) products, produced indigenously, by a native company and while the difference in ease of doing business within and without the EU (and particularly in developing markets, where I use the word “developing” in a liberal sense) is like night and day, trust me, the problem isn’t the tariffs, it’s the bureaucracy and compliance. Tariff rates are in the region of 1.5% to 7%. They’re usually less significant than currency fluctuations.
Adding €1K to a €50K price is nothing, compared with adding a skilled person-week’s labour costs and lost work opportunity cost, €500 in permits, stamps and signatures and a fortnight’s, or a month’s delay to getting the consignment ordered, loaded, shipped, processed, delivered and accepted.
Tariffs can and quite likely will put some farmers out of business. For the other 95% of the economy, they’re either completely irrelevant for businesses whose inputs and activity are entirely local, or else a minor inconvenience for importers and exporters, compared with the administrative burden.
They’ll be a big problem for a small part of the Irish economy. In the UK, they’ll be a similarly big problem for an even smaller part, but there, admin, compliance and refusal to recognise standards, even when they’re effectively identical will be a headache of monumental and often probably terminal proportions.