In a recent Senate hearing Senator Clair McCaskill questioned Trump’s ill-conceived tariffs on aluminum and steel. She told Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross that because of the Administration’s insufficient planning, failure to provide sufficient and timely ways of securing country-based exemptions Mid-Continent Nail Corporation of Poplar Bluff, Missouri may have to close its doors leaving 500 workers without jobs.

She shared the following:

“Mid-Continent Nail Corporation in Poplar Bluff is the only large-scale producer of steel nails in the United States. The majority of nails that are manufactured in America come from [there and] makes it the second largest employer in Poplar Bluff. [The] Trump Administration recently implemented new tariffs on steel and aluminum. Those tariffs were supposed to help American businesses - but in this case, they're doing exactly the opposite. Because of those tariffs, Mid Continent has gone from manufacturing an average of 9,000 tons of nails sold every 5,500 in June...and only 4,000 in July. Mid Continent has already been forced to lay off 60 employees. They've idled their Poplar Bluff facility. And they will likely have to fire 200 more Missouri workers. At this rate, they'll have to close their doors.”

She continued: “… the absurd hoops Mid Continent has had to jump through - 24 different product exclusion request forms, bureaucratic backlog and red tape, crippling losses each month forced [it] to fire hardworking Missouri employees because their business just can't afford them.” She shared a communique from Mid Continent's CEO, Greg Scheurich, President of CNC Machine Products in Joplin; “it makes no sense to use tariffs that help China and hurt American workers. Wasn't the goal of these tariffs to Make America Great Again by bringing back good paying manufacturing jobs? I place my orders six to seven months in advance, even from domestic suppliers, so switching steel mills at a moment’s notice just doesn’t work for me, and as a result I’ve had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in tariffs in April for an order I made in October.’”

He ended his remarks by saying: “I appreciate Senator McCaskill standing up for my business and all the other small businesses in Missouri trying to make sense of all this and hope the folks in Washington listen to what she’s saying.” Senator McCaskill summarized her remarks by saying: “This all happened because the Administration started a trade war without thinking through the consequences for our workers.”

Just thought! It is not for me to presume how and why Missouri workers voted in 2016. Those who voted for Trump because he promised to protect Missouri jobs from immigrants and asylum seekers should be more concerned that Trump will be the number one job killer with his economic policies – no matter how many fake claims he makes at his rallies. Especially since he and his daughter continue to use overseas labor to make his Trump Enterprise products to inflate his wealth. He won’t bring these jobs home. He doesn’t care about you. RESIST!

-Rev Dr. Ira S. Williams, Gravois Mills