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Nail manufacturing exec who voted for Trump blames him for layoffs, asks Democrat for help
An executive for the largest U.S. nail producer who voted for President Trump said he is so dismayed by the president's trade policies that he is lobbying a Democratic senator for help.
George Skarich, vice president of sales for Missouri-based Mid Continent Nail Corporation, told The New York Times that his nail company could soon go out of business.
"He ran on 'Make America Great Again,' and the point was to defend and protect jobs in the United States," Skarich told the Times.
"Now here is an action he decides to take that has the potential to cost 500 U.S. citizens their jobs," he added, referring to the 25 percent tariffs on steel imports that Trump announced in March.
The tariffs, Skarich said, prompted his company to have to raise its prices by almost 20 percent. Skarich told the Times that his company's orders have dropped by half this month, facing stiff competition from cheaper foreign manufacturers.
The company has reportedly cut 60 jobs and might cut up to 200 more in coming weeks. Skarich said he blames Trump for the layoffs.
Because of the tariffs, Skarich said he is lobbying Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) for help.
McCaskill, speaking at a Senate Finance Committee hearing this week, pressed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on the tariffs.
"It appears to me that in a chaotic and frankly incompetent manner, you're picking winners and losers on a very technical basis according to all the reporting we have, without a great deal of training, and the regulatory burden is so extreme on small businesses," she said.
In March, Trump implemented tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum. On Friday, he threatened, in a tweet, to unilaterally impose a 20 percent tariff on European cars.
- Updated June 24, 3:30 p.m.