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Labor 411

Steel Mill in Louisiana Latest Casualty of Trump Tariffs

Hundreds are left jobless as the 40 year old factory closes

Posted on
Oct 03, 2019

Louisiana is the latest state to see a steel mill close due to President Donald Trump’s tariffs.

CBS affiliate, WWLTV, reports:

“Hundreds of Louisiana steelworkers are finding out they no longer have a job. This comes as Bayou Steel “unexpectedly” shut down its mill in LaPlace on Monday.

Now, 376 people are looking for new work.

Bayou Steel transports and makes steel beams and other similar products. They also collect industrial scrap for recycling. Company officials say the mill will be permanently closed on November 30, and sent out a WARN letter to parish and state officials Monday. That letter cited ‘…unforeseen business circumstances and the inability to secure necessary capital’ for the closure . . .

For 40 years, Bayou Steel has been in LaPlace. Jason Bright worked at the mill as an electrician for the last 18 of those years.

‘It’s going to be hard. Child support, mortgage payments. It’s going to be rough,’ Bright said. ‘We kind of had a feeling that something was happening because they quit buying scrap. No notification whatsoever . . .’

Governor Jon Bel Edwards blamed the closure on tariffs in a statement Monday, something Ricchuiti agreed with.

‘It really seems to be the tariffs which is really hurting the U.S. economy and the the global economy. In fact, the steel industry has been saying for the last couple of months that they really thought steel demand would slow down significantly,’ Ricchuiti said.

Edwards said, in part:

‘While Bayou Steel has not given any specific reason for the closure, we know that this company, which uses recycled scrap metal that is largely imported, is particularly vulnerable to tariffs.'”

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