Three companies operating in the Carolinas have recently announced current and potential layoffs directly attributable to the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum and additional rounds of tariffs on particular goods:
- Element TV has laid off 126 workers assembling TVs in Fairfield County, South Carolina from imported components. Eight employees remain in caretaker roles.
- BMW, operating their largest assembly plant in the world in Spartanburg, SC, has announced that they will probably begin laying off some number of their 10,000 employees in the fall. Some planned production of new models has already been shifted to Asian plants.
- Volvo, opening a plant near Charleston, SC, has indicated that they may fall short in their employment goals (currently 4,000 by 2021).
Nucor Corporation, headquartered in Charlotte, NC has announced the construction of a new galvanizing line at the company's sheet mill in Arkansas to support their growth into a wider set of end-market applications. Planning is said to be underway for adding galvanizing lines to other mills.
Given the reach of the steel and aluminum tariffs in American manufacturing, the Trump administration set up a process managed by the Department of Commerce (DoC) whereby manufacturers could seek exemptions for the tariffs for specific components (such as pipes, wire, screws). Over 20,000 exemptions have already been filed, but DoC included provisions where steel and aluminum producers could object to specific claims. Nucor, along with United States Steel and AK Steel Holding Company, have made 2,700 such objections. All have been approved and the exemption rejected. DoC has granted 20 aluminum exclusions over an objection.