Jun 29, 2018 - Economy

The big picture: U.S. industries feel the heat of Trump's trade wars

Steel coils

Steel coils produced at the NLMK Indiana steel mill are prepared for shipping. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

About 21,000 companies in the United States have filed for tariff exclusions claiming Trump’s trade war has caused layoffs and makes them at risk of folding completely, per CNN Money.

Why it matters: The initial purpose for Trump’s tariffs was to level the trade playing field with other countries, but American companies are also sharing the brunt of the measures and several are worried they won't be able to survive them.

Be smart: 21,000 petitions have flooded the U.S. Commerce Department asking to continue importing metals on a duty-free basis. However, only metal products that are unavailable from U.S. producers are eligible for the waivers, reports the Washington Post.

The impact

  • The largest nail manufacturer in the U.S., Mid-Continent Nail in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, laid off 60 of its 500 employees in June, per CNN Money. The company blamed the 25% tariff on imported steel.
  • Whisky distillers are seeing canceled orders, lower profits, and more layoffs, reports CBS News.
  • Pork producers in the U.S. count on China and Mexico for its largest exports. "We're in a very uncertain period, and uncertainty is not good for investment," Jim Monroe, of the National Pork Producers Council told local CBS station KCCI.
  • Wholesale cheese and butter prices dipped in the last few weeks with tariffs as the main concern. In 2017, Wisconsin lost 500 dairy farms, and about 150 farms have stopped milk production so far this year. The number of milk-cow herds is down 20% from five years ago, per local NBC station WGRZ.
  • Harley Davidson also announced this week its moving some of its production out of the U.S. to soften the blow on EU tariffs.

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