US, China trade war forces Element Electronic to shut
August 13, 2018
By Chris Forrester
One of the few – and perhaps only – US manufacturer of TV displays is to close, saying it can no longer source Chinese components.
Element Electronics, based in Winnsboro, South Carolina, makes TV sets and monitors including 4K models, and its branding and marketing says: “proudly assembled in America”. Element is ultimately owned by a Chinese business (Tongfang) and also control the Seiki and Westinghouse TV brands. The sets are sold through Walmart stores and Target electronic retail outlets.
Element says it will lay off 126 of its134 full-time staff, and close the assembly factory on October 5th.
“The layoff and closure is a result of the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China, including the key television components used in our assembly operations in Winnsboro,” Carl Kennedy, Element’s VP/human resources, said in a letter to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce last week.
Element offered sets ranging in size from 19” to 65” and in prices which range from $100 to $1000.