A Republican business owner who backed President Donald Trump told The New York Times the president’s tariffs may force him to move operations to Mexico.
Pat LeBlanc, the chairman of EBW Electronics, a family-owned business in Michigan, told The Times that the company is considering moving its production to Mexico because Trump’s tariffs are “killing” their business.
LeBlanc told The Times he feels “betrayed” by the president, whose policies now threaten to cut the company’s 2019 profits in half.
“It’s killing us,” LeBlanc said. “I just feel so betrayed. If we fail because the company is being harmed by the government, that just makes me sick.”
EBW President Cory Steeby added that the administration’s policies are essentially driving business out of the country.
“It’s a tax that comes right off the bottom line,” he said. “It totally incentivizes you to move out of the United States and build either in Canada or Mexico. These are active conversations right now.”
Another Trump supporter says ‘Trump is killing us’:
Larry Kooiker, another Trump voter who runs Agritek, a Michigan company that makes metal parts, told The Times that the tariffs have “just been a disaster.”
“Trump is killing us,” Kooiker said. “His bang for the buck is horrible.”
Steeby said that if Trump follows through on his threat to raise tariffs to 25 percent the company would be in dire straits.
“At 25 percent, we are not making money,” Steeby said. “There’s a threat that you cease to exist, or there’s a threat that jobs move to Mexico.”
“There’s no intelligence to the way this is being done,” he added. “The tariffs are designed to hurt China, but they are being paid by American companies.”
Trump administration warns of ‘more to come’:
After Apple CEO Tim Cook blamed Trump’s trade war on the company’s reduced earnings and subsequent stock market plunge, top Trump economic adviser Kevin Hassett said that more American companies will feel the pain.
“Until we get a deal with China, it’s not going to be just Apple,” Hassett said on CNN Thursday. “There are a heck of a lot of U.S. companies that have sales in China that are going to be watching their earnings being downgraded next year until we get a deal with China.”
“That puts a lot of pressure on China to make a deal,” he added. “If we have a successful negotiation with China, then Apple’s sales and everybody else’s sales will recover.”