In this July 29, 2018 photo, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, left, Chris Pratt, center, and George Skarich, executive vice president of sales at Mid Continent Nail Corporation, walk through a shut down line at the Mid Continent Nail Corporation in Poplar Bluff, Mo. This nail production line was shut down by the company and some people were laid off because of tariffs. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Trump tariffs put Missouri Senate candidate Hawley in a bind

September 13, 2018 - 12:44 pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The fate of a Missouri nail manufacturer suffering under President Donald Trump's steel tariffs is putting Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley in a bind between support for Trump and concerns the plant could close.

Mid Continent Nail Corporation's plant in Poplar Bluff has shed workers and company officials say it could be shuttered.

Both Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Hawley have visited the plant and say they'll fight for it. But while McCaskill is opposed to the tariffs, the issue is more delicate for Hawley. He says he supports the president's work to get better trade deals and says he's advocating for Mid Continent to get a tariff exemption. But he also has put pressure on Mid Continent's parent company to tough it out and not close the plant.