Manufacturers are waiting to see if President Donald Trump follows through on threats to slap new import fees on U.S. companies with factories in Mexico. That includes Charlotte-based Nucor, the largest U.S. steelmaker, which says it’s moving ahead with a plant in central Mexico.
Nucor and Japanese steel maker JFE announced a joint venture last summer to build a $270 million factory to make sheet steel for automakers.
But President Trump says he wants to impose import taxes of up to 45 percent on U.S. companies that build plants in places like China and Mexico. The fees would be charged on goods brought back into the country.
So far, the president hasn't acted on his threats. But Nucor chairman and CEO John Ferriola told analysts last week he's watching closely.
“Right now we're still planning for it to be in Mexico,” he said. “But if something changes and we have some definitive direction that says that's not the place to put it, we do have options and … we'll move forward with one of those options.”
For now, Ferriola says the project is on schedule. The company is buying land, and construction could begin in May or June.
Nucor is one of collection of U.S. companies that say they’re proceeding with plans to build plants in Mexico. The Wall Street Journal included Nucor in a report this week on the situation.
Feb. 8, 2017, Wall Street Journal (via MSN.com), “Companies Plow Ahead With Moves to Mexico, Despite Trump's Pressure”