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Trump’s trade war forces red-state manufacturer to shut down plant

More jobs are lost, thanks to Trump.

By Eric Boehlert - August 07, 2018
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President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a rally at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

More American workers are feeling the pain from Trump’s reckless trade war. The latest casualties are 126 workers in South Carolina who are getting pink-slipped from a television manufacturing plant.

Element Electronics announced on Monday that virtually all the workers at its Winnsboro, South Carolina, plant will be laid off in coming weeks, thanks to Trump.

“In a letter to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce obtained by The State, Element wrote ‘the layoff and closure is a result of the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China, including the key television components used in our assembly operations in Winnsboro,'” the South Carolina newspaper reports. Element said it plans to maintain a skeleton crew of just eight employees after the layoffs.

South Carolina is bracing to become ground zero for lost manufacturing jobs in the wake of Trump’s mindless trade war.

“Swedish automaker Volvo has said it may have to break its promise to hire 4,000 employees for a new plant in South Carolina,” The State reports. “And German automaker BMW recently wrote U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying the tariffs could jeopardize 45,000 S.C. jobs, including 10,000 at its Spartanburg plant and 35,000 at BMW suppliers.”

Trump’s tariffs are nearly universally opposed by economists and big business alike.

In recent weeks, major American manufacturers such as Whirlpool, General Motors and Harley-Davison have all warned that Trump’s shortsighted trade war will likely take big chunks out of their bottom lines, which could mean major layoffs.

Red-state farmers are also being hit hard.

“The U.S. soybean industry’s worst fears are coming to pass today with the implementation of tariffs on Chinese imports,” the Iowa Soybean Association said in a statement this summer.

In July, soft drink giant Coca-Cola suddenly announced that it has to raise prices on its sodas because, thanks to Trump, it now costs more for Coke to produce aluminum cans.

Trump, as usual, appears to be completely oblivious to the real-world implications of his policy blunders.

“Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs,” Trump tweeted last month. “It’s as simple as that – and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!”

Americans, though, aren’t buying it.

A recent NBC News/WSJ poll shows that by a margin of 2-to-1 voters think Trump’s tariffs will hurt consumers, not protect the U.S. economy.

They’re certainly taking a toll on workers in South Carolina.

Published with permission by The American Independent.


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