'Betrayed' factory boss turns on Trump, says plant may move to Mexico

A Michigan electronics company chairman, who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, now says he feels betrayed and his factory may have to move to Mexico because of the president’s tariffs

Pat LeBlanc, the chairman of EBW Electronics, told The New York Times that Trump’s tariffs were “killing” the company, which makes lights for the auto industry. 

“I just feel so betrayed,” LeBlanc told the newspaper. “If we fail because the company is being harmed by the government, that just makes me sick.”

LeBlanc, a Republican, said he expects 2019 profits will be cut in half. 

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Dow falls over 700 points after Trump announces China tariff plan
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is displayed on a screen after the closing bell, over the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is displayed on a screen after the closing bell, over the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: A monitor displays the day's final numbers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: A trader works at his desk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: A monitor displays the day's final numbers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: A monitor displays the day's final numbers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: A monitor displays the day's final numbers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 22, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 700 points on Thursday afternoon. Markets reacted to the Trump administration� announcement of approximately $50 billion worth of yearly tariffs on Chinese imports. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Cory Steeby, EBW’s president, told the Times the tariffs that make steel and aluminum more expensive to import were “a tax that comes right off the bottom line,” and the company might not have a choice but to move production to avoid them.

“It totally incentivizes you to move out of the United States and build either in Canada or Mexico,” Steeby said. “These are active conversations right now.”

LeBlanc’s latest comments were a far cry from the optimism he expressed just a few years ago when EBW was ranked as one of the fastest-growing companies in the region. 

“Yeah, we’re adding jobs and we’re growing faster than anyone else,” LeBlanc boasted in a 2013 interview with the Holland Sentinel. “Getting into LEDs is what really propelled us. And we’re not moving to Mexico.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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