STATE: BMW warns tariffs will likely hurt earnings


COLUMBIA – BMW is having problems, and job-killing tariffs are at least in part to blame.

CNBC reported that BMW shares fell 5 percent Tuesday after the automaker warned investors its 2018 revenues and profits will likely fall. Why? Well in part, it’s because of “uncertainty stemming from the escalating global trade war.”

“The continuing international trade conflicts are aggravating the market situation and feeding uncertainty,” BMW said in a statement, according to CNBC. “These circumstances are distorting demand more than anticipated and leading to pricing pressure in several automotive markets.”

That means President Trump’s tariffs are hurting a manufacturer that provides some of the best jobs in South Carolina. And BMW isn’t alone. In recent days, a number of iconic American companies – including Ford, Walmart, Procter and Gamble and Coca-Cola – have spoken out about the ways the tariffs work against their interests and those of their employees and customers, threatening jobs and raising prices.

The BMW plant in Greer was perhaps the crowning achievement of Gov. Carroll Campbell’s time in office, and now those jobs are threatened. And what does Henry McMaster do? He suggests that South Carolinians worried about their jobs just “be patient.”

McMaster just doesn’t get it on tariffs. He congratulates himself that 126 jobs have been saved in Winnsboro because a critical part the factory needs from China has been exempted from Trump’s tariffs. It’s wonderful those jobs have been saved. But the governor shows no sign that he understands that the jobs wouldn’t have been in danger to begin with if not for the tariffs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has warned that South Carolina is among the states most likely to be harmed by the tariffs, as $3 billion worth of our economy depends on international trade.

“The governor has to speak on behalf of the people of this state, and he’s unwilling to do that,” James Smith, the Democratic nominee for governor of South Carolina, recently said to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. “He says, ‘Be patient,’ but patience doesn’t pay the bills. What that really means is, ‘Don’t make me challenge my friend the president while he’s helping me politically.’”

“South Carolinians need a governor and lieutenant governor who will stand up and fight for the good jobs in our state,” said Mandy Powers Norrell, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. “We don’t have that now. Henry McMaster’s silence is deafening.”


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