United Steel Workers upset over claims of Trump using foreign steel
Donald Trump made headlines last week with the release of a Newsweek article saying he had elected to use Chinese steel for construction on two of his three recent hotels and casinos.
On Tuesday, United Steel Workers are reacting to that decision saying the use of foreign steel undermines the US industry and takes away Iron Range jobs.
While the steel industry is making a slow recovery Iron Range miners say there's still a long way to go to get the region back on its feet and all the mines back up to full strength.
Officials estimate the recovery to the industry at around 70 percent.
That recovery may have been slowed significantly by a decision reported in Newsweek Magazine alleging that presidential candidate Donald Trump purchased Chinese Steel through a holding company for construction on two of his recent buildings.
"To build those buildings with foreign steel is a slap in the face to all steel workers in this country." Said President of the USW 1938 in Virginia, Lowell Carlon.
Even if the steel had been bought in the United States, it might not have been a direct result of taconite mines on the Iron Range, but United Steel Workers say, buying USA steel, might help closed mines like Keetac get back online.
"Anytime we lose any business to any foreign entity, it hurts. Every little bit is going to help us get ahead. I mean, especially now. We are in a slump. We're in a downturn, that's the nature of the industry. Now, we've been beat up by China, let's face it. We've been hollering about having a level, fair, even playing field." Said Carlon.
A level playing field Trump has vowed to create, through his 7-point plan to rebuild the American Economy, which includes a call for an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership,which would create much tougher trade negotiations for foreign imports.
Trump says his plan is part of his fight to help American Worker.
He also says he would use presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop what he has called illegal steel dumping.
"He can't preach that he's against trade, and that he's going to just stop trading with China, and he's gonna do that, and he's going to get rid of NAFTA, and these other things when he's the one going out of his way to utilize the cheaper steel from other countries." Said USW Staff Representative Mike Woods.
Trump's economic recovery plan also calls for a re-negotiation of NAFTA, appointing the toughest and smartest trade negotiators, and bringing trade violation cases against China in the US, and with the World Trade Organization.
Calls to the Trump Campaign have not been returned.