By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There have been plenty of reports on President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods and the fall-out from the trade war with China. For one Minnesota Company, the president’s ability to impose tariffs is a lifeline that will save Minnesota jobs and create new ones.

On Wednesday, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled unanimously in favor of Minnesota-based Cambria. The company filed a complaint last year that China was dumping quartz products and seriously injuring Cambria’s business.

Cambria’s CEO Marty Davis is praising the ruling, clearing the way for tariffs to be imposed on Chinese quartz, which Davis said the Chinese have been dumping on U.S. markets at below cost. Davis says he believes their ultimate goal was putting companies like Cambria out of business.

Cambria is known for its signature glossy quartz counter tops, back splashes, tiles and other products. But the company took a major financial hit after the unprecedented dumping by the Chinese government.

“They were able to come into this market at prices below our raw material cost,” Davis said.

The result: layoffs.

“The employment we lost during this period of time, as China started pouring in with subsidized product and we slowed down in our production, we lost 200 people in Minnesota,” Davis said.

Cambria also put a major expansion that would have created 300 more jobs on hold.

“The impact on our small company in Minnesota, medium-sized company I guess it would be considered, would have been 500 people and $150 million invested in the capitol side of this economy,” Davis said.

Cambria, which employs 2,000 people, fought back, appealing to the Trump administration that the Chinese were violating existing trade agreements and devastating their business. Last November there was a preliminary ruling in favor of Cambria, then came the unanimous ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“We are very grateful to the administration; my support of Trump on this particular issue is policy-oriented. Ultimately we would have lost a lot more and it would have decimated our industry,” Davis said.

Davis says because of the Trump administration policies he expects Cambria will eventually rehire the 200 employees they had to lay off and eventually he plans to resume his expansion plans that will add several hundred more Minnesota jobs.

Esme Murphy

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