Last week, one of southeastern Missouri’s largest employers, Mid Continent Nail Corporation, announced that pressure from President Trump’s steel tariffs may force the business to close as early as Labor Day. Now, yet another Missouri company is finding itself in jeopardy due to the tariffs.
Missourinet first reported this week that when Trump’s tariffs forced Mid Continent Nail Corporation to scale back their operations, SEMO Box Company was forced to lay off workers as well. SEMO is a family-owned business in Cape Girardeau that has worked closely with Mid Continent Nail Company for decades. Co-owner Tim Powderly touched on the personal repercussions of these layoffs, pointing out that he is “paying [employees] for their hard work so they can buy food and support their families.”
While President Trump’s tariffs put more and more pressure on Missouri businesses like SEMO and Mid Continent Nail Company, local officials have taken a variety of positions on the looming trade war.
Senator Claire McCaskill told reporters in Jefferson City that she has serious concerns about the implications of these tariffs on Missouri’s agricultural community, adding that she’s worried about “what a devastating impact that could have on Missouri’s economy if all of our export nations begin putting retaliatory tariffs on our Ag products.” Senator Blunt has also criticized the President’s tariffs.
Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley, however, continues to stand by the President, telling the Post-Dispatch that Trump “is right to take a strong approach to shake up our trade posture.”