Donald Trump’s tariffs continue to be an extremely mixed bag for the U.S. steel industry, but they’re definitely not good news for workers in Louisiana and Tennessee being laid off from a bankrupt steelmaker. Bayou Steel Group has filed for bankruptcy, leaving nearly 400 workers near New Orleans and another 48 in Tennessee jobless.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards described the company as “particularly vulnerable to tariffs” because it uses “recycled scrap metal that is largely imported.” It’s not just a one-company problem in the state: “Louisiana is among the most dependent states on tariffed metals, which is why we continue to be hopeful for a speedy resolution to the uncertainty of the future of tariffs. Meanwhile, we will do everything within our power to help those displaced workers.”
Trump’s steel tariffs did initially help strengthen the industry in the U.S.—something he bragged about A LOT—but those effects haven’t lasted, especially as demand from automakers dropped. Go figure, it turns out that slapdash policymaking followed by bragging isn’t enough to solve all of the problems, developed over many years, of the U.S. sector of a global industry. Now that steel isn’t doing as well, Trump is mysteriously talking about it a lot less.
Published with permission of Daily Kos