Due To Trump, The Largest Nail Manufacturer In The U.S. Is About To Close

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Mid-Continent Nail could close by Labor Day if the administration doesn't grant it an exclusion from steel tariffs.

Poplar Bluff, Missouri has been rocked by President Donald Trump's steel tariffs as the nation's largest nail manufacturer struggles to keep its doors open.

According to CNN Money, Mid-Continent Nail has already laid off 60 of its 500 workers as orders were cut in half after prices were raised to compensate for the 25 percent tariff on imported steel.

The company is in danger of shutting production by Labor Day unless the Commerce Department grants it an exclusion from paying the tariffs, company spokesman James Glassman told CNN's Poppy Harlow.

Mid-Continent Nail is "on the brink of extinction," he said.

Because the tariff only applies to raw materials, Glassman said the company is considering relocating to Mexico where the steel is cheaper, and then exporting the finished nails back to the United States.

"It's obviously an option," said Glassman about moving to Mexico. "It absolutely is something this company does not want to do. It wants to save the jobs in Poplar Bluff, Missouri."

Glassman called President Donald Trump's trade policy misguided. He noted that the company had doubled its work force since 2013, and thrived despite increased competition from China.

The company is one of about 21,000 American companies that have applied for exclusions, CNN Money reported.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said during a Senate hearing last week that Mid-Continent Nail should have filed for an exclusion more quickly.

"I'm not belittling their situation at all. But given the importance of it to them, it's very unfortunate that they waited all these weeks to file the request," he said. "Under the authority we were granted, there is a process we have to follow."

Also unfortunate is the fact that workers at the nail manufacturer are unlikely to be the last Americans to suffer job losses under Trump’s trade policies.

The US Chamber of Commerce has estimated that 2.6 million US jobs are at risk because of the Trump administration's hard-line policies on trade, although that estimate includes the impact of ending NAFTA. The tariffs that have already been proposed could cost the US economy about 700,000 jobs by next summer, according to Moody's Analytics.

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