Louisiana Gov. Blames Trump’s Tariffs For Bayou Steel Closure, Costing 376 Jobs
Nearly 400 workers are off the job in LaPlace, Louisiana, after Bayou Steel Group announced it is closing operations due to President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.
NOLA reported that the site will close permanently by the end of November, citing a letter from the plant’s manager to local and state officials.
The letter said "unforeseen business circumstances" and a lack of financing led to the shutdown, which came as a shock to both local officials and the employees who work there.
"Many of them were not prepared," St. John the Baptist Parish spokeswoman Baileigh Rebowe told NOLA on Monday. "They’re devastated and didn’t know this going into work this morning.”
The publication reported that “sharp swings in the market for steel as well as scrap metal and other raw materials, coupled with uncertainty around trade with China, the world's largest steel market” has put pressure on many American steel makers.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards pointed to Trump’s trade war and tariffs for the difficulties facing the steel industry, including Bayou Steel, which specializes in turning scraps into products such as rebar.
"While Bayou Steel has not given any specific reason for the closure, we know that this company, which uses recycled scrap metal that is largely imported, is particularly vulnerable to tariffs," the governor said in a statement.