What's The Beef? The Declining American Leather Industry : Planet Money The leather manufacturing industry was once a backbone of the American economy. Now the industry is in decline, and the trade war isn't helping.
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What's The Beef? The Declining American Leather Industry

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What's The Beef? The Declining American Leather Industry

What's The Beef? The Declining American Leather Industry

What's The Beef? The Declining American Leather Industry

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/777031319/777039916" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Taylor Weidman /Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative
An employee handles a sheet of leather on a machine at a tannery in India. Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg
Taylor Weidman /Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative

In 2014, the leather industry reached an all-time high. Leather producers were able to charge high prices for their finished goods. But the high cost of leather had unintended consequences as cheaper synthetic products entered the market, which led to the downfall of the real product.

Five years on, the leather industry has not recovered. And the trade war with China is not helping. Is the American leather industry disappearing?

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