Eye On Mining: Mining advocates applaud steel tariffs
March 23rd. That's when the steel and aluminum tariffs are set to go into affect.
As conversations over global trade continue, back here at home, mining advocates say the tariffs lift a weight off the industry's shoulders.
"The impact is going to be very minor."
Kelsey Johnson, President of Iron Mining Association, has been lobbying for what she called a level playing field for the steel and iron mining industries for years.
"Between 2014 and 2016, while the economy of the nation was booming, steelmaking facilities and iron mines sat idled."
Some of those mines continue to sit offline and workers continue to wait for a call back.
"I'm hopeful. It's really tough to say," said Johnson. "The good thing about maybe having these tariffs in place is that you're going to see a greater increase in demand for our domestic iron and our domestic steelmaking."
But the tariffs have brought criticism from across the country, and across party lines.
"If it's targeted towards China, depending on how it's tailored, I may not have a problem with it because that's really where the root cause of the problem is," said Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). "But a generalized tariff that would actually harm allies, harm American consumers by the way, harm American workers who use steel in production, I'm opposed to that."
Much of the conversation has surrounded the increase in costs for consumers.
From cars to beer many are concerned the prices will go up.
But by how much?
According to the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, not much.
A brand new car priced at $35,000 could go up by approximately $175 with the 25 percent tariff on steel.
A can of soup? That would go up by approximately six-tenths of one cent.
And finally, a can of beer, with the 10 percent tariff on aluminum, would go up by approximately three-tenths of a cent.
"It's not going to be an impact that most people are going to see in their costs, but it's going to impact our iron and steelmaking facilities in a way that's going to hopefully lead to greater success," said Johnson.
After President Trump's announcement on steel tariffs U.S. Steel announced it's restarting one of its steel-making facilities in Illinois.
The company, which owns MinnTac and KeeTac on the Iron Range, said it's anticipating greater demand for American-made steel because of the new tariffs.