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South Carolina manufacturer says it's closing plant over Trump tariffs

Element Electronics, a consumer electronics company in South Carolina, says it will be closing its plant in Winnsboro due to tariffs imposed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE.

The State reported Tuesday that the company was one of the largest remaining employers in Fairfield County after the local Walmart, which used to be the largest grocery store in the county, closed its doors two years ago.

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The news also comes after plans were canceled to build two nuclear reactors in the area, terminating 5,000 construction jobs.

“When you think you’ve reached rock bottom, to get kicked in the gut like this, you didn’t think anything more could happen,” state Sen. Mike Fanning (D) said of Element's announcement to the local paper. “Within 365 days, you just get rocked to your core.”

Element said “the layoff and closure is a result of the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China, including the key television components used in our assembly operations in Winnsboro,” in a letter to the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce obtained by the local paper. 

The company said in the letter that it hopes the closure will be temporary and added that it could reopen the plant in “three to six months, but we cannot predict this with any certainty at this time.” 

The company said it plans to start laying off workers in October, a move that will reportedly cost the county 126 jobs.