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>> I am taking action to impose safeguard tariffs.>> President Donald Trump's steep new tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels are part of his aggressive America First agenda to encourage US manufacturing.
t here in Clarksville, Tennessee, that could backfire. These workers are building a new $250 million factory in this town north of Nashville.
The product, washing machines made by South Korea's LG Electronics. But LG will now face Trump's 20 to 50% tariffs on the washers they export to the US. Reuters reporter David Lauder visited Clarksville for the story.>> If they lose market share because of these tariffs, they're gonna be hiring fewer workers.
They won't be producing as many washers, so they may not need the 600 workers that they pledged to hire at the start of this plant.>> Trump's washer tariffs cap a decade-long fight by American manufacturer Whirlpool against what it sees as unfairly low pricing by LG and fellow South Korean giant Samsung.
Whirlpool this week said it would add 200 new jobs at a washer plant in Ohio after Trump imposed the tariffs on foreign makers. While support for President Trump is high in Clarksville, residents say the foreign-owned factories that have landed here are providing local American jobs.>> I can’t explain to the people in Clarksville, Tennessee about international trade disputes.
What I can explain to them is the prospect of a good job, a good paying job that they can use to support their families.>> For now, the mayor is working to allow LG to open its plant sooner, in hopes of minimizing any damage from the tariffs. Production is now due to start by the end of the year.
But there are other trade risks for the community.>> The LG plant itself plans to use American-made steel in its washers, and it could face higher costs from that. Two tire companies have plants in the area that rely on imported steel for tire cord. Those costs could go up.
>> For Trump, it all means that making good on his pledge to protect US workers with America First trade barriers doesn't come without a cost.>> But they would have never come unless we did this.