President Donald Trump’s tariffs, especially those directed at China, are having a detrimental effect on more than just his campaign merchandise, as an electronics company in South Carolina said this week that hundreds of workers would be laid off as a result of the trade wars.
Television maker Element Electronics recently announced its plan to close a plant in Winnsboro, South Carolina, eliminating 126 jobs in the process. The company cited the tariffs imposed by Trump, which have made it difficult to get the supplies they need to create their products, as the reason for the closure.
“[T]he 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 company wrote in a statement, according to The State, a South Carolina newspaper.
This announcement is especially difficult for residents of Fairfield County, who have seen thousands of jobs disappear over the past few years. Now, due to the trade wars launched by Trump, even more jobs are being cut at a time when they’re desperately needed.
Other companies in the state have also seen the trade wars as inimical to their business plans. Volvo announced that a previous promise they made to hire 4,000 workers in South Carolina may go unfulfilled due to the tariffs implemented by the administration. BMW has said the situation is potentially worse for them, writing to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross earlier this summer that as many as 45,000 jobs could be on the line in the Palmetto State due to Trump’s trade wars.
The irresponsible way in which Trump has imposed barriers to international trade with countries many American companies need to do business with is now reverberating with workers' lives. Ultimately, the responsible party for these lost jobs is Trump himself.
His administration must find a way to end the escalating trade wars and restore these jobs that have been lost due to his poor decision making.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque