White House trade advisor joins roundtable discussion on tariffs

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, hosted a Sunday roundtable in Duluth to highlight the importance of the Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 authorizes the president to place tariffs on imports that threaten national security. 

The panel consisted of several Iron Mining Association members and representatives from communities, labor and small and large businesses that rely on iron mining for their livelihood. Panelists included Craig Fellman, CEO, The JAMAR Company; Brian Maki, CEO,  Lakehead Constructors; Larry Sutherland, General Manager, US Steel; Clifford Smith, COO, Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.; Robb Peterson, Operations Manager, ArcelorMittal; Deb DeLuca, Executive Director, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Al Hodnik, CEO, Minnesota Power; Craig Olson, President and Darrell Godbout, Vice President, Duluth Building Trades Council, and Andrea Zupancich, Mayor of the City Babbitt.

“The iron mined in northern Minnesota is a critical resource for steel-making in the United States,” IMA President Kelsey Johnson said in a news release.  “We need a strong iron ore and steelmaking sector to ensure the safety of American citizens.” 

Johnson told Dr. Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, that the Section 232 tariffs have helped improve the iron mining industry, which has had a positive impact on the economy Northeastern Minnesota.

Some of the panelists also highlighted the need for the expedited adoption of the USMCA, the new NAFTA trade agreement for the United States, Canada and Mexico.     

Following the roundtable discussion, Rep. Stauber and Dr. Navarro toured Canadian National's ore dock and IMA member company Gerdau Steel, which are both located in West Duluth.