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Wisconsin feels ripple effect of trade war

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MANITOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin is one of the many states feeling the ripple effect of the trade war between the U.S. and China.

It's been especially tough on those who work in the hard-hit aluminum industry.

"For the last two years, if you wanted a job in Manitowoc, you could get one," said Ben Jacobs of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry. "We're not hiring anyone right now. We're on layoff right now, so that's very worrisome."

With the trade war and orders to China all but dried up, the century-old Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry instituted a voluntary layoff for eight percent of its workforce. 

It was supposed to last one month, now it's stretched into two, and some say there are even more signs to worry about.

"Our production rate has slowed down about 40-percent versus kinda Februar, March time frame," said Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry's CEO Sachin Shivaram. 

Officials at Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc say despite some production lines currently idle, they've continued to invest millions in the business, and for now are resisting more layoffs, though recent economic indicators show more problems ahead.

U.S. manufacturing activity in September fell to its lowest point in a decade.

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