COLUMBIA, S.C. – James Smith, Democratic nominee for governor of South Carolina, had the following to say about the news that Element Electronics in Winnsboro has obtained the exemption it sought, and 126 good Fairfield County jobs have been saved:
“It is truly wonderful news that the hard-working employees at Element will not be losing their jobs as originally announced. They’ve gotten a reprieve, and we know what that means to the people of Winnsboro, having been there and heard about their deep concern for their community.
“We rejoice that the only plant that assembles TV sets in the whole country will continue to operate, and 126 jobs in Fairfield County are saved.
“At the same time, let’s be clear: This happened because the Trump administration granted a special exemption from its job-killing tariffs. That was something that needed to happen in this case, which is why I called for such an exemption when I spoke about this in Winnsboro last month.
“But there are still thousands of jobs threatened by the larger policy in South Carolina, which does $3 billion worth of international trade each year. South Carolina is still one of the states most in danger of job losses from the tariffs, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“South Carolina workers at this one plant have dodged a bullet, and that is some of the best news we’ve heard lately. But the bullet should never have been aimed at them to begin with. Henry McMaster should still stand up against the tariffs themselves, which are aimed right at the heart of South Carolina’s economy.”