DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) – A DeWitt factory that produces construction and road maintenance tools laid off ten employees Monday as a result of the recent tariff the U.S. imposed on Canadian raw steel.
Black Cat Wear Parts has placed the employees “on temporary layoff,” DeWitt plant manager Josh Daniel tells KWQC.
In June, a 25% tariff imposed by President Donald Trump took effect on raw steel imported from Canada to the U.S.
The tariff includes special material used in about 80% of the DeWitt plant’s production.
“While we were hoping through the month of June an agreement would be reached on stopping the tariffs, nothing materialized,” Daniel said.
The production in DeWitt is now being handled at the company’s facilities in Canada, where Black Cat is headquartered.
Before Monday’s layoffs, Black Cat employed 36 people between two locations in DeWitt, and the ten who were let go were all in the company’s production department.
“Our goal would be to bring back those team members affected by layoffs when the tariff situation is resolved but with the uncertainty around the issue it’s been hard to plan for,” Daniel said.