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5 views • March 10, 2018

Workers React After Trump Imposes Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Workers from the steel and aluminum industries shared emotional reactions after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum this week. "To 500 people in that community, what great joy that is," said Scott Sauritch, a maintenance worker at U.S. Steel. "That is fantastic. A lot of people don't understand that, but if you're in the steel industry, you comprehend that." Sauritch's father also worked in the steel industry and lost his job during the steel industry downturn in the 80s. Sauritch still remembers the hardship he, his five siblings, and his parents went through. "This community was devastated when the lines were shut down," said James Powell, a superintendent at Century Aluminum. "So to have those lines come back up, just the opportunity to have that happen, is going to be great." Powell met the president in person at the signing ceremony for the tariffs. Trump imposed a tariff of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum. "Just talking to him makes it feel like he's one of us. He's not one of these people who can say one thing and not really relate to us," Powell said. "I told the president, 'sign for us to get to work and we're ready.'" Trump imposed the tariffs based on a recommendation from a report by the Department of Commerce, which found that a glut of foreign steel was hurting domestic producers and becoming a threat to national security. Mexico and Canada are exempt from the tariffs and Trump suggested that Australia may be exempt as well. After Trump announced the tariffs, several steel and aluminum companies said that they are restarting idling plants and bringing back workers. Republic Steel in Ohio announced that it will bring back more than 1,000 jobs, according to WKYC. United States Steel Corp and Century Aluminum Co. are bringing back 500 and 300 workers respectively, Wall Street Journal reported.
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