Tariffs Create Tension For Factory Workers Who Supported Trump | NPR

you're probably not gonna find many people out there in our plant that are gonna say no I didn't vote from President Trump I think he's honestly honestly honestly trying to do good for these United States Trump made a lot of good promises he's done a lot of them but nowhere in there did it say hey I'm going to raise the tariffs on this and it didn't affect my job I kind of questioned myself a little bit on on that decision that I made on voting for him this is Poplar Bluff it's a community of 17,000 people in southeastern Missouri in 2016 nearly 80% of voters here supported Donald Trump including many of the workers at one of the biggest businesses in town Mid Continent male mid as it's known here is the largest nail manufacturer in the United States but lately it's been in a tough spot steel is steel you don't have steel you don't have a cut in our country entré has been ripped off by virtually every country in the world we'll be imposing tariffs on steel imports and tariffs on aluminum imports and you're gonna see a lot of good things happen you're gonna see expansions mid-con used to get most of its steel from Mexico and so Trump's 25% tariff hit them hard their only hope now is an exemption from that tariff when they are not sure it's going we sat down with some of MIT constant for use to ask them how they reconcile their support for the president with their uncertain future white picket fence husband or wife whichever doesn't hear three-bedroom house that's the American dream you know do you guys have the right now we're not completely there yet we've struggled we're struggling financially you know it's been a battle first Alex and Paige they're engaged and they're planning a wedding we visited them and their pets to talk about the tariffs that are threatening Alex's job just as they're working to build a life together Paige used to work at VidCon but she left because things were so uncertain and now she opens at a cafe and after her day ends she drives Alex to work the night shift at mid-con they almost never see each other because they're working such long hours but they are hoping it will pay off in the long run for now they need this job just like many other employees at mid-continent here in limbo not knowing whether or not we're gonna have a job next week or whatever are you nervous yeah my philosophy is it is what it is there's some people who I think look at this know like president Trump imposed these tariffs the tariffs has affected the company it's like a really simple story but you seem to disagree with them and see some more some more forces at work I do ultimately with President Trump putting a tariff tax on here he's trying to bring everything back here to the United States and I understand that I mean if he lost any faith in him yeah since this tariff when do effect you know it's hard right now I mean a lot of times when things are hard they're gonna get hard too until they start getting better that's just the fact of life he's not trying to divide us he's not trying to tear us apart he's trying to bring us more closer together I don't think I've ever had a job where I've been taken care of as well as I have here my daughter you know she's had two open heart surgeries she's had a stead a balloon lots of procedures on her heart they don't question me they gave me they make sure I'm covered I take care of me you've lost workers and there were some predictions that the company would close down what has that been like I'm Lyle I'd like for the first while I was terrified now I've kind of gotten to where I try not to think about it because it's affecting everything else that I do like like when we lost all the people the machines that you know aren't running it's sad because I know who used to run that machine I know they had kids or they had bills you know they they were here day in and day out and then how they go just because somebody doesn't want to give us an exemption it's you don't have faith that he's gonna give you the exemption not not after this long well he can't water made it sound like he cared about the American worker and he apparently doesn't care about the nail business so you a Democrat who voted for trumping yeah okay yeah a lot of people gave me they're like what wait really well Trump made a lot of good promises he's done a lot of them but nowhere in there did it say hey I'm going to raise the tariffs on on this or I'm gonna do this and it didn't affect my job wouldn't you've seen that coming pretty sure I wouldn't vote for him again you wouldn't all these tariffs are put in place for a reason I think they did what they thought was the right thing at that time they weren't thinking about all the consequences the downstream manufacturing facilities that are going out of business you know you know there's an issue with it with a policy if you have 20,000 exclusion requests all companies like yours then that have been hit by this that's correct and if there are 20,000 exclusion requests that means there's a definite problem with the policy we're very transparent with our employees they know that we've been fighting against imports from other countries so to them when he was saying let's make America great let's keep American jobs they were all thinking hey he's gonna help us he's gonna help us fight the battle against those imports and he's gonna keep our jobs and in reality right now we're fighting we're fighting a battle right now against our own country and that's doesn't seem right I've been a mechanical welder fabricator pipe bender I've been doing round holding wrenches for 20-plus years I love it what do you like about it I get to create everyday fabricate something everyday make something new help design something make our machines run a little better so how hard has it been to watch this company go through a really hard time this year it's rough I mean these people were family to me you know I have 500 brothers and sisters here oh not anymore you know I've been palpable in the surrounding area for 13 years and there's not 500 jobs out there it's gonna hurt if anything happens in this place I voted in that back our president 1% if he was here right now I'd shake his hand he knows what's best for us in the country I think it's hitting us pretty hard and some of those policies and a little misguided but for the overall good of America I think he's doing what's right so you're basically saying that that if this company if you if your brothers and sisters here after sacrifice its you trust him that it's for a greater good I do I can't speak for everybody but I do what is it about him that that keeps you believing in him so strong can't be bought I think he's true who's sincere he's a businessman yeah I know that he can run this business I know he'll run America and so that's the ultimate business and if he's a businessman might want to listen well I mean get off work 7 o'clock in the morning god I wish I slept more I make 1025 an hour which I mean that's higher than minimum wage in Missouri and I mean that's not bad for around here but considering the amount of work I do I feel like I I mean I should get paid more for you guys I mean trying to make ends meet and trying to get that dream and working your butts off when you look at Donald Trump if there's a connection there what is it him being just as human as us the fact that he he failed how many times before he finally succeeded I'm sure he had a better upbringing than I did you know I'm sure his parents had more money than than my parents you know ever did and he added a bit easier but he I mean he's still he still worked hard for what he got you know what were you hoping for yourself like in terms of what Trump might bring you better opportunities it's a better my life more opportunities you know better pay more jobs and so far you're not totally feeling it no but you seem you sound like you're open-minded like you're giving him two more these two more years to kind of see what happens I mean any anybody can anybody can make a change you know and everybody deserves you know a second chance you know or to continue on the chance they still got if he can show results and you know make things happen then I mean he'll have my support again but until then I mean it's it's yet to be seen you

44 thoughts on “Tariffs Create Tension For Factory Workers Who Supported Trump | NPR

  1. Economists tried to warn you what Trump's trade policies would do to impact American jobs. You didn't listen. You prefered listening to a buffoon in office. I'm sorry for what's happening to you, but it takes Trump supporters to realize with harsh consequences. Trump only cares about his companies benefiting.

  2. gee he promised so much and delivered so much, yeh right two dickheads in the supreme court dirtier air dirtier water , rising violent and sex crimes, higher prices higher medical bills , higher trade deficit , higher national debt , to give uneeded tax cuts to his rich friends , and lots of low paying service jobs, hes done so much, and why are americans paying or not paying for the nonsensical wall

  3. Trump is so dumb. Does he not know tariffs are “reciprocal”? Like he assumes countries will be blackmailed. You throw in $5 billion in tariffs ,countries will do the same. The trade imbalance only got bigger due to his stupid senseless actions. He is a flaming idiot and the joint chiefs need to step in. He is too stupid and Does not understand the trade imbalance is our premium to be the worlds top dog. He thinks its because of stupid policy. It was by design dumbass!! When you are a country’s top customer they are essentially your bitch and have a revolving debt they pay you through other means like influenced UN votes, military joint operations, intel flow, foreign US military basis , and different ways america sees as an opportunity to exploit revolving debt by export-heavy nations. By balancing trade u are essentially balancing the power structure, something that is against americas best interest. Just a fixated fucking dumbass. As a result, people in US export businesses are losing their jobs .They need to begin using the u-6 jobs report that shows the real unemployment figure which is well past 8%. People in Atlanta are losing jobs left and right over here. Its starting to get crazy.

  4. Good. They need to be in eternal torment in the 9th level of HELL!!!??? People died because of your vote shitbags. I want your heads on a silver platter.

  5. How long before they hose US at the pumps?


  6. Between this, poverty, sanctions, etc,… How many consumers (not living paycheck
    to paycheck stretched too tight already) are left for the buzzards to pick?

    I suppose you could put on some rose colored glasses…

    Glorious days for monopolies…

  7. NPR fake news!!!!! people have bad and good in their lives all the time. People loose their jobs all the time. Life happens deal with it! If there where no tariff's the country would have have gone under from the tariff cheating CHINA and other countries.

  8. WOW "its gonna keep getting harder and harder until it gets better" by that analogy when you go to your doctor and he messes up your surgery you get worse and suffer and then he messes up your meds you suffer more but then after many mistakes he notices his mistakes and corrects it will you be happy? The only problem is trump wont fix ANYTHING he will do the ONLY thing he knows and that is to BLAME others in my previous analogy he would just blame his PA! In real life LEADERS take full and ultimate responsibility for everything that happens on their watch. But what do you expect when you elect the bankruptcy king who claimed unemployment was as high was 49%…. "it could be folks" its so sad to see how unbelievably stupid a lot of americans are… hey lets elect a greedy racist egomaniac who has no experience and no moral values to the highest office! Did these morons even listen to trump at all??? HE DIDNT EVEN PASS 1 IMMIGRATION BILL and they had the house and senate… where is the wall… and why is mexico not paying for it?

  9. I find it hilarious that white people still believe in him make excuses for him even give him the benefit of the doubt….but the craziest shit they say is that he knows what's good for the country? How? And they keep saying He's a business man but living in NYC you know trump isn't the smart business man the man can't run a casino how the fuck can he run a country

  10. Sounds like people who want a better life voting for the person who promised them a better life. Isn’t that all American voters?

  11. “He’s a businessman”. Ummm dude , you realize he was born with a silver spoon and has bankrupted numerous companies. Hello?

  12. I just do not understand how ppl like this who are being crushed by this imbecile in the White House continue to believe in him. It’s a true cult of personality. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever.

  13. It’s easy to brainwash people this fucking stupid. These are the same group of retards that chanted “Build that wall”, build that wall for what? To keep the Mexicans from taking your jobs? Trump just handed all your jobs to the rest of the world! “Build that wall!” For what? To keep crime out of your town? With no jobs in your town the closest criminal will be your neighbor when they start getting desperate enough. I hope these morons vote for trump again, so that they lose their jobs and beg for welfare they can’t get because they voted that away too. Idiots. I would rather these people come to their senses but their simple way of thinking would never allow themselves to question themselves like an evolved human being.

  14. There's no hope for trump supporters. They will throw their lives away blindly for a failed business man who went bankrupt 6 times, its ironic now these companies will be following his trend

  15. So losing your job/business is beneficial in the long run? You really think business will come back? These companies will never recover, they lost to the competition because of the tariffs. They will have to raise prices to try to stay in business, while their competitors lower prices because of their record sales.

  16. It's very sad. First production is more expensive; then because of retaliatory tariffs it's harder to export. Sales will drop drastically. And for the rest of the countries the game is substitution; it's gonna be extremely hard to recover since the rest of the world no longer trusts on the US as a reliable business partner.

  17. Is Mexico dumping steel into America ? Does American steel cost that much more or can't they get American steel ? Where are these questions. ( from a retired Canadian steel worker whose company has been hit by the 25 % tariff ).

  18. Trump sold and continues to sale himself as a business man that, sees a bigger picture than the blue collar can; simply using his 'successes' as the ultimate burden of proof.

  19. Because of progress and automation, factory jobs that these people are wishing for will NEVER return. Best to go to college and get a higher tier of skill. America is no longer a middle skill country that requires factory workers. People need to get up and do some learning.

    I am Asian and I approve this message.

  20. I'm honestly surprised that no one blamed Obama for the negative consequences of the trump tariffs lol. These people are brainwashed and actually think this ego maniac, most corrupt president ever cares about them? Wow. So sad.

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