Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Touting Re-Opening of Granite City Works as Proof His Tariff Will Benefit Americans

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Touting Re-Opening of Granite City Works as Proof His Tariff Will Benefit Americans

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * The administration of President Donald Trump is using the reopening of a steel plant in Granite City as immediate proof that its newly imposed tariffs on imported steel from some countries already is paying benefits.

In a background briefing leading up to Trump's announcement that tariffs would be placed on imported steel and aluminum but not, for now, from Canada and Mexico a senior Trump administration official singled out United States Steel Corp.'s decision to put roughly 500 workers back on the job by restarting one of two idled blast furnaces and associated steel-making facilities at its Granite City works.

The president himself later mentioned U.S. Steel's announcement in a ceremony depicting the tariffs at the White House's Roosevelt Room. He called the reopening of the Granite City plant a "big one" and predicted it would be repeated in closed plants elsewhere.

That announcement was made Wednesday and put "some of the biggest smiles" on steelworkers' faces, said Dan Simmons, president of United Steelworkers Local 1899 in Granite City.

"Very important facility that has shut down for two years," said the senior Trump adviser, whom the White House communications staff would not allow to be identified by name in order to give Trump more of the spotlight in his late afternoon announcement.

"They will have 500 steelworkers back on the job and they will be making an additional 1.5 million tons of raw steel a year," the official said. "And that is going to really contribute to our national and economic security."

But the steep tariffs 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum have created worry that they could launch a trade war that could increase inflation at home and harm U.S. exports, starting with farm commodities, a big part of the Missouri economy.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said she was "very concerned we're starting a trade war that'll do nothing but punish Missouri's manufacturing and agriculture sectors. …

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