President Trump’s vow to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum next week brought praise from the Iron Range and its mining companies Thursday. The long-awaited decision by the president comes after months of review by the U.S. Commerce Department, acting on a campaign promise made by Trump that helped deliver him Rust Belt regions like the Range.
The extent of the tariffs, which could fall into place in a few weeks, remains unknown. Trump is considering a 10 percent tariff on aluminum and 25 percent on steel following the Commerce Department report, which said steel imports presented a national security risk.
“Artificially cheap steel boosted by subsidies, dumping and circumvention are not signs of competitiveness; these are just signs of blatant disregard to real free trade and to our trade laws,” said Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland Cliffs, which has ownership in United Taconite, Hibbing Taconite and Northshore. “Once free from these unfair practices, we will finally have a level playing field for steel in the United States. Going forward, we expect that the Administration will fully enforce the announced actions, making sure that the offenders, particularly the enablers within our borders, will be treated as seriously as they deserve.”