Some time back, I mentioned a NPR report on how recent hanger tariffs help Wisconsin businesses. That was almost two months ago and today I see the story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
There, a hanger plant that closed as the Chinese came to dominate the market has reopened, with management in the process of hiring 20 workers to add a second shift.
“Thank goodness the tariff is in place,” said Jeff Bosen, manager of the plant that is owned by Shanti Industries Inc. of Foothill Ranch, Calif. Without it, “we’d be shutting the plant down.”
As more and more hangers came from China, U.S. plants began to close until only one, M&B Products Co. in Leeds, Ala., remained open. It started the case that eventually led to the tariffs. They were imposed on “wire garment hangers, fabricated from carbon steel,” which were being sold for “less than fair value,” according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The tariff is from 33.85% to 221.05%, depending on what Chinese plant made the hangers.
What is deceptive about the Journal piece is the “sky rocketing” costs are because dry cleaners are still buying from China. It seems to me a business man or women paying 10 cents more for a shirt or blouse is a good trade off to having family supporting jobs in Wisconsin. As Jeff Bosen points out he would be able to increase shifts if it wasn’t for the scrap metal shortage.
For a reason only a banana republic could understand, we cheaply sell to China our scrap metal, and then they flood our market with cheap goods. It seems to me a much more self reliant approach would be using those raw materials for “America First”, and only sell China the excess materials. It is clear from this article that American hanger companies are unable to get American scrap metal because we are giving it to China.
So who do you stand with, laundry mats wanting cheap, below market, Chinese hangers, or the Wisconsin hanger companies offering family supporting jobs.