After President Trump’s increased tariffs on Chinese metal imports, a storage safe manufacturer located in Chicago, Illinois, is being forced to shut down its plants and move to Mexico, reports The Hill.
The manufacturer, Stack-On Products, which makes products ranging from toolboxes to gun vaults, is closing their two Chicago-based facilities and laying off 153 people. Some of the employees are being given the option to relocate to El Paso, Texas, which is just over the border from the Juarez, Mexico, location.
The Chicago plants were Stack-On’s only two U.S. facilities, although they already have factories in China and Mexico. The Wauconda and McHenry plants, which ran for four decades, are set to shut down for good on October 12, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Human resources director for Stack-On’s Las Vegas-based parent company Al Fletcher confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that Trump’s tariffs were directly related to this decision.
“The operation is really not profitable. Mr. Trump is part of this.”
President Trump announced the increased tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, in addition to other products coming from China, earlier this year. Stack-On Products is not the first company to be affected by the tariffs and many others have been forced to increase prices, layoff employees, or even completely close down as a result. General Motors, Harley-Davidson, and Caterpillar are just a few of the companies claiming the tariffs are forcing them to raise prices as their profits take a toll.
As U.S.-based companies get hit hard by the tariffs, key allies, including Mexico, Canada, and the E.U., have expressed their outrage at Trump’s decision and retaliated. Many U.S. industries have expressed concern that as other nations retaliate against the taxes, the levies will hurt or destroy their own market.
The Department of Agriculture announced in July that they were offering $12 billion in aid to farmers affected by retaliatory tariffs imposed on grain, produce, and meat exports. Farmers have reportedly lost billions of dollars in sales to the E.U., Canada, Mexico, and China, prompting the White House to put together a relief package.
However, the assistance plan was just a “short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy,” according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, writes The Hill.
As Trump continues to stand by his decision to impose the massive tariffs, complaining that the U.S. is being treated like a “piggy bank” that’s being “robbed” by their trade policies, many other companies and industries are expected to be hit hard.