Chinese tariffs lead to 126 jobs lost at South Carolina TV plant

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WOLO)- – A South Carolina television maker says it’s laying off 126 workers because of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports from China.

Democratic candidate for Governor, James Smith is calling out Henry McMaster a day after the announcement.

“These tariffs are not helping anyone in our state,” Smith said. “We’re hurting by the lost of these jobs.”

Element Electronics is the only television manufacturer in the United States. The company says the layoffs will go into effect on October 5th.

“It’s a sad moment, but then again these tariffs are works in progress,” Governor Henry McMaster said.

The layoffs come a year after Fairfield County lost more than 5,000 jobs when VC Summer shutdown.

“I’m hoping that when all the work is done, and all the facts are known, that the businesses and industries tin South Carolina will not be hurt, but instead will prosper,” McMaster said.

Smith isn’t as hopeful saying layoffs could be the beginning of many with McMaster in office. Smith also said McMaster cares more about his relationship with President Trump than helping grow South Carolina.

“We have a Governor who has chose not to fight,” Smith said. “He apparently cares more about his friendship with the President then the people in Fairfield County and their jobs.”

Some Republicans in the state say the tariffs are apart of a bigger picture.

“The tariff approach is such a toxic approach,” Senator Tim Scott said. “His response to me is that over time that we’ll be in a better position. So far, much of his strategy has proven to be effective. I’m just concerned about the immediate response to tariffs.”

“When everything is completed in South Carolina, we will be and should be in very good shape,” McMaster said.

Element TV Company said in a letter to state employment officials Monday that workers will be let go Oct. 5, leaving a skeleton crew of eight employees to watch the Fairfield County plant in hopes it can reopen in three to six months.

Categories: Fairfield, Local News, News, State