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VIDEO: As Elections Loom, Workers In Trump Country Reckon With Tariffs Fallout

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Philip Bennett repairs machines at Mid Continent Nail in Poplar Bluff, Mo. A self-proclaimed Democrat who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, Bennett's support for the president has waned since Trump instituted steel tariffs earlier this year.

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America's largest nail manufacturer is feeling pretty small these days.

Many of the factory machines at Mid Continent Nail have fallen silent, and more than a quarter of its workforce has been laid off. The company fears it may soon be a casualty of President Trump's trade wars.

The Missouri-based company used to get most of its steel from Mexico, so Trump's 25 percent tariff hit it hard. To stay afloat, Mid Continent Nail raised prices and consequently lost a lot of customers.

Despite facing an uncertain future brought on by Trump's tariffs, many of the remaining workers at Mid Continent Nail who voted for him in 2016 still support him. NPR sat down with several of the plant workers to talk about their faith in the president.

Politics is Personal is a three-part video project that explores how some of the biggest stories from President Trump's first years in office have impacted voters — who will decide whether to reward or reject the president and his party in the midterm elections.

Hear Morning Edition's story by clicking the audio button above.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

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