Update: Tariff blamed for loss of jobs in Rockwood

ROCKWOOD, Tenn. (AP) -- An antiquated tariff designed to protect American textile mills from foreign competitors is being blamed for threatening a Rockwood company that manufactures carbon fiber.

The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that Toho Tenax America is slashing its workforce in half and closing a production line at its 100,000-square-foot building in the Roane County Industrial Park.

Company president Rob Klawonn said the company is being hamstrung by a hefty tariff that doesn't make sense. The firm is cutting 65 employees by Sept. 30.

The company makes super strong, super-light carbon fiber used in a variety of products, including "specialty high performance fabrics."

Klawonn said its fiber has nothing to do with clothing textiles and should not be subject to the tariff, which costs the firm at least $500,000 a year.

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