Nation Representatives and Industry Leaders Discuss Tariffs and Trade in the Northland

Republican MN congressman Pete Stauber and White House director of trade and manufacturing policy Dr. Peter Navarro led the discussion.

DULUTH, Minn.-┬áMinnesota’s 8th district representative Republican Pete Stauber and a representative from the white house talked tariffs and the future of North American trade with local industry leaders.

It’s crunch time for President Trump and his administration in making the push to get the newly proposed United State-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) to the next step. But getting congress on board means taking a closer look at how some of the presidents other policies are affecting nationwide industries.

Republican congressman Pete Stauber and White House Trade Representative Dr. Peter Navarro led a discussion on what they think is one of the nation’s greatest forms of defense- Tariffs.

“For generations families in Minnesota have mined the iron ore which is used in steel products that support out national and economic security,” Stauber said.

Specifically tariffs on steel and aluminum, two of northern Minnesota’s top imports, directly impacted under the president’s 2018 section 232 tariff policy.

“What I heard today is that the steel tariffs have been a tremendous boom to this area. They’ve stimulated investment, they increased jobs, they drive up wages. And life here is good and getting better,” Dr. Navarro said.

Industry leaders say President Trump’s tariff policies are actually helping their companies grow. They say they’re in favor of the USMCA eliminating section 232 tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

“The section 232 filing really helped us in that it solidified a number of things that we were trying to get done. It helped set the stage and start the conversation around not only the national impact and the impact that this industry has but it solidified our position in the international l community as well,” Iron Mining Association representative Kelsey Johnson said.

Democratic Minnesota representative Angie Craig thinks differently.

She tweeted her concerns with the USMCA with what she says is a negative impact on farmers and taking the focus away from just the iron and steel industries.

“Soy bean farmers in my district and across the country know that this trade war is doing serious damage to their bottom line and the markets that they worked decades to build,” Craig said.

Stauber says we can’t forget other industries in the pending trade deal like timber, but overall he says the president’s tariff policies are helping the Northland.

“It can’t go without notice the important impact that those when we put the tariffs in how important they are to local government,” Stauber said.

Of the industry leaders who spoke on and supported the USMCA, their focus was more on the Northland’s closeness and partnership with Canada. Almost nothing was brought up about the benefits of trade with the other part of that agreement- Mexico.

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