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'Extinction' Looms for America's Biggest Nail Manufacturer

Mid-Continent Nail says it was forced to raise prices due to the 25% tariff on steel
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2018 6:35 PM CDT
   (Getty/milanvirijevic)

(Newser) – Mid-Continent Nail laid off 60 of its 500 workers on June 15, and says it could have to entirely halt production by Labor Day, reports CNN. Located in Poplar Bluff, Mo., the nation’s largest manufacturer of nails says that it was forced to raise prices due to the new 25% tariff on steel from Mexico and Canada, and orders subsequently dropped 50%. It is hoping the Commerce Dept. will grant it an exemption from paying the tariff. Company spokesman James Glassman told CNN that the company is "on the brink of extinction" and could relocate to Mexico. Mid-Continent Nail is one of an estimated 21,000 US companies that have applied for an exemption to the tariff. Mid-Continent’s troubles underscore a concern among analysts that the trade war could result in job losses in the US.

Indeed, this week, Harley-Davidson announced that it is moving some of its production offshore because of the 31% tariff that Europe imposed following the White House’s steel tariffs on Europe, reports the Chicago Tribune. Supporters of tariffs say that job losses are offset by job gains as protections help US businesses reopen. One analyst suggested that the tariffs would help create 26,000 steel and aluminum jobs, but that retaliation from trading partners could cost more than 495,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy. “For every American job gained, more than 18 jobs would be lost,” she told the HuffPost. (Read more tariffs stories.)

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