MANITOWOC, WI—Tramontina USA Inc., a manufacturer of metal cookware, is ending its US manufacturing operations due to increased costs from tariffs on components such as aluminum, steel studs and glass lids.
The company abruptly closed its factory in Manitowoc July 8, eliminating 145 jobs. The company is also cutting 108 workers at its headquarters facility in Sugar Land, TX.
The Wisconsin plant closure and layoffs in Texas are the latest examples of companies responding to ongoing trade negotiations between China and the U.S., which have increased prices for raw materials and hurt profits for domestic manufacturers.
Nearly 40 percent of Texas businesses anticipate that tariffs will hurt profits in the next two years, according to a recent Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas survey. Manufacturers are being hit particularly hard—more than a quarter reported in the survey that they had reduced capital spending plans as a result of the tariffs.
In a release, the company said cost increases caused its domestically produced items to be less competitive in the housewares market. The Manitowoc factory had been making aluminum cookware since 2005. Manufacturing operations will move to Tramontina’s factories in Brazil.
Approximately 250 employees will remain in the Sugar Land location.