Tim Powderly, co-owner of SEMO Box Company in Cape Girardeau, says some people might not think cutting four jobs is a big deal. To Tim, it is a big deal.
“You are paying them for their hard work so they can buy food and support their families,” Powderly tells Missourinet.
Powderly, along with his brothers Greg and Steve, had to lay off four of the company’s temporary workers due to a downturn in business from a Poplar Bluff nail company. Mid Continent Nail Corporation has been hit hard with a 25% tariff on steel imports. It has slashed 60 temporary jobs and plans to cut 200 more by the end of July. It also faces possible closure around Labor Day.
The 48-year-old box company, which is made up of about 35 workers, has been in business with Mid Continent for more than 25 years. Powderly says until about ten days ago, his company had been shipping one daily tractor trailer load of corrugated boxes to the nail factory.
“We’ve grown along with them. They’ve increased their manufacturing. We’ve increased our manufacturing,” he says. “It’s been a great partnership for 25 years and I’m confident it’s going to continue to be that way. I think this is just a major bump in the road. Mid Continent Nail is a big part of our company, but we will make it. It just really hurts.”
Powderly says he does not believe the Trump administration had in mind a potential decline in U.S. manufacturing business when it announced the tariff. He says President Trump was trying to create more American manufacturing jobs. Powderly hopes for a speedy exemption process on the tariff so that Midwest manufacturers can resume regular business.
Mid Continent’s existence hinges on the federal government expediting a tariff exclusion on the steel wire imported from its own company, Mexico-based Deacero.
Copyright © 2018 · Missourinet
See previous stories:
Former owner of struggling Missouri nail company says U.S. should tax imports on finished goods
Southeast Missouri nail company gets hammered by Trump’s tariffs
Trump tariffs blamed for potential closure of major southeast Missouri employer