America’s Biggest Nail Producer Is Getting Hammered By Trump Tariffs

Where did these nails come from? Are they all-American nails from Poplar Bluff, Missouri? Or communist nails from mainland China?Image Source/ZUMAPRESS

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Will the United States win its trade war with the rest of the world? Maybe, but there will be collateral damage in the meantime:

Mid-Continent Nail of Poplar Bluff, Mo., the largest U.S. nail manufacturer, cut 60 jobs on June 15 and plans to lay off an additional 200 workers in a few days, citing plummeting sales following the imposition of Trump’s metals tariffs….Mid-Continent Nail imports from Mexico most of the metal wire it uses to make nails. By driving up the company’s costs, Trump’s tariffs are making it nearly impossible for the 500-worker company to compete with cheap nails from China, [George Skarich, vice president of sales and marketing] said.

“The Chinese get a pass and we pay a price,” said Skarich. “Trump ran on jobs and making America great again, but he is making a decision that may help big steel, but it hurts downstream businesses like ours who employ a heck of a lot more people than steel does.”

“We didn’t see this coming,” says Skarich, echoing the words of farmers losing sales to Mexico, people in Kentucky losing access to Obamacare, working-class white folks losing their food stamps, and Harley-Davidson, which is moving some of its production offshore thanks to retaliation against Trump’s steel tariffs. And that’s just the start.

I’ll repeat my usual refrain here: Republicans can put a stop to this any time they want. But they won’t, even though they support free trade. This is how much they’re in thrall to Donald Trump. They won’t buck him even when (a) they disagree with him, (b) most of the public disagrees with him, and (c) his policies are causing pain to their own constituents. It kinda makes you wonder what the point of even having a Republican Party is these days.

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate