The Trump administration this week gave a reprieve to the jobs of some 126 South Carolina TV factory workers by making an exemption for certain LCD TV component parts from a list of tariffs issued last July.

According to a report Tuesday by The Greenville News, the exemptions included some of the $34 billion in Chinese component parts Element uses to assemble TVs in the Winnsboro, S.C. factory for sale in North America. The action came a matter of days before an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods are to take effect Monday.

Element Electronic’s management announced in August that President Trump’s tariffs, which included the TV parts, would have made it too costly to continue building televisions in the United States, and 126 employees out of 134 employed by the facility would lose their jobs on Oct. 5 unless the waivers were allowed.

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The report stated that the “TVs’ four main parts, all imported from China, include a screen that makes up 70 to 75 percent of their cost. Several of the parts were already subject to 4.5 percent tariffs before the administration bumped those up another 10 percent or more.”

The Greenville News said company, South Carolina state and local leaders worked together since early August, urging the White House to waive the tariffs on the TV components in question.

The Element Winnsboro plant is currently the last television manufacturing site in the United States, before a second Foxconn/Sharp Corp. facility is completed in Wisconsin. The  Element plant currently produces five TV models, primarily for sale to Walmart stores.


By Greg Tarr


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