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Counterpoint: Steel tariffs support Minnesota, national security

Star Tribune, March 13, 2018

We can all agree that Minnesota is blessed to be home to more global companies per capita than nearly any other state. These companies do, in fact, contribute to our quality of life. The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota’s member companies, including United States Steel, Cleveland Cliffs and Arcelor Mittal, are among those global leaders that also provide thousands of good-paying jobs here in Minnesota. Indeed, Minnesota’s mining and manufacturing sectors have been and continue to serve as a critical component to our state’s economic well-being.

However, a recent commentary writer’s suggestion that imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum “will cost Americans their jobs and result in a trade war that America cannot win” is simply not based in fact (“Tariff threats are bad for state,” March 7) . There is no hard evidence to support these assertions.

Foremost, those opposing President Donald Trump’s decision on steel imports are completely ignoring the basic premise of his decision — the U.S. Commerce Department’s detailed findings that steel imports threaten our national and economic security. As recently stated by U.S. Steel’s CEO, our “national security is only as strong as American steel: It depends on the domestic industry’s ability to manufacture steel from start to finish. A weaker or nonexistent American steel industry leaves our nation dependent on countries focused on their economic interests and well-being, not ours. That leaves our country vulnerable, which is not a position the United States should ever be willing to accept.” In fact, U.S. Steel’s recent decision to restart its Granite City Works blast furnace will utilize iron ore from Minnesota’s iron mines, the first stop in America’s proprietary steelmaking process.

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