Mary Buchzeiger is CEO of Auburn Hills-based Lucerne International Inc. She calls herself a “Proud” Republican, and is an overtly vocal supporter of Donald Trump and his efforts to fix U.S. trade imbalances with nations like China.
She couldn’t have been happier with her “president,” right up until Donald started actually “fixing” stuff. Now her story is different.
I’m also angry, frustrated and a little scared, because the unintended consequences of the president’s $50 billion tariffs on China would cripple my business in Auburn Hills and strip my 50 employees of their good-paying jobs.
Her company makes forged parts for automotive and heavy truck industries, all of which have a starting supply chain in Asia. And there’s where her problems begin. Donald’s trade tariffs include a provision for a 25% tax on “iron or steel, aluminum, or zinc hinges and base metal parts designed for motor vehicles.” These are exactly the kinds of parts that Mary’s company makes.
Mary says she can’t understand why her “cerified woman-owned company in the heart of Trump country” is being targeted. To think that she’s trying to wave around her Woman Card after voting for the “pussy grabber in chief” is tragically ironic. Regardless, this is exactly what everyone has been trying to tell these people, both before and after the election — Nothing good will come of this trade war.
Mary says that the way this tax is structured will cause the cost to be borne solely by her company, not their U.S. domestic wholesale customers and not end-consumers. And, she says that her company is not going to be able to bear that cost while staying profitable enough to remain in business.
Now she’s scared. Scared that Donald is making a “mistake” as she puts it. Scared for her employees who will lose their well-paying jobs. Scared for her community which will suffer from a loss of a large employer and for her country that will experience hardship in other ways.
Never the less, Mary is completely submerged in self-delusion. She was quoted as saying:
I wonder: Does President Trump know that his tariff on imported components threatens almost every manufacturing job in Michigan?
Does he know that my little company in my little corner of Michigan would lose 90 percent of its business overnight? Does he understand that a 25 percent tax on the components Lucerne uses would evaporate my profit margins? That it would shut us down?
I don’t think he does. Because I know my president cares — and I’ve got to believe he will change his mind, grant sensible exclusions, and help companies like Lucerne make America great again.
She knows he cares. She’s the victim here, even though she enabled this faux president. Again, please stop with the pity party. She made her bed, along with every other chump Trump voter, and now comes the long nap they have to take in it.
However, this is a good thing. Here is why.
Republican voters, even “smart” ones like Mary, have been voting against their own interests in an uninformed, short-attention-span, emotional way for the past 40 years. These people need a serious punch to the gut that will negatively impact them to a great degree and from which it’ll take them years to recover. Why? Because it’s the only way to wake them up. Let’s face it, discussing facts and logic with them does NOT work. They have to be allowed to finally burn their hand badly because they refuse to stop playing with the hot stove.
The best part of this is how instead of being against the tariffs as a whole, she only wants an exclusion for companies like hers. Even after this frightening episode, she can’t help but be a selfish person and not think of other people who will be affected in other ways. As long as the tariffs have a small adjustment to benefit her, the rest seems A-Okay. Other people’s jobs or businesses being lost are a price she’s willing to pay to “stick it to China.”