“When it comes to first pour steel, this country’s stronghold is the Great Lakes basin,” said Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “The supply chain that provides those raw materials to the region’s steel mills is a model of efficiency.”

The Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, are part of a series of 16 locks from Duluth, Minn. to the Atlantic Ocean that can lift or lower ships by 600 feet, or roughly the height of a skyscraper. Roughly 4,000 ships a year pass through the locks, carrying more than 80 million tons of iron ore and other cargoes.