President Trump Focuses On Farming, Iron Range Mining During Minnesota Campaign Stop
MANKATO, Minn. — President Trump spent Monday afternoon campaigning in both Mankato, Minnesota and Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as both states are key battlegrounds in the presidential election this year.
His presence in the Midwest comes on the heels of the Democratic National Convention kicking off in a virtual setting Monday evening.
During President Trump’s visit to Mankato, he came prepared to speak on the issues affecting Minnesota voters.
One of his biggest campaign talking points in the state focused on mining on the Iron Range.
The Iron Range saw shutdowns and layoffs in 2015 as foreign companies were investigated for illegally dumping steel when supply was much bigger than the demand for it.
“For years you watched as politicians like sleepy Joe Biden who’s been in office for 47 years allowed foreign nations to crush Minnesota’s mining,” the president said. “Look at your mining industry, it was crushed by dumping tons and tons of cheap iron and steel into our country. I saw what was happening, I did something about it.”
The Iron Range has become somewhat of a battleground for recent Democratic and Republican presidential administrations when it comes to mining projects.
Under former President Barack Obama, the Twin Metals mining project near Ely was blocked over concerns that heavy metals from the copper-nickel mine would leach into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
During the Trump administration, the project had the green-light to move forward but has faced an onslaught of lawsuits from environmental groups, such as the Campaign To Save The Boundary Waters.
“We recently issued a directive protecting workers on the Iron Range from unfair, job-killing regulation and frivolous litigation in addition to everything else,” President Trump said.
He attacked the Obama administration for blocking mining near the Boundary Waters, adding that he believes if Joe Biden is elected, more mining projects will be halted.
“Our miners are back on the job and wages have increased by as much as 50 percent, and they’re doing great even during the China plague, they’re doing great,” Mr. Trump said. “And the China plague will fade, but we will not forget. But if Biden wins the Iron Range we’ll be shut down forever, you know that.”
The president also said the trade deal he reached during his first term in office called the USMCA, which replaced NAFTA, has helped farmers.
“They announced last week that China ordered the largest amount of corn in history. And the largest amount of soybeans in history.”
President Trump said the USMCA has also benefited the mining industry.
“I did similar for you when I opened up your great iron ore,” he said. “And I put tarriffs, I put tarriffs on foreign steel, and the Iron Range came roaring back to life.”
Among the other topics President Trump touched on were the Post Office, the pandemic, the city of Minneapolis working to defund its police department, the economy, and immigration.
He wrapped up his campaign speech hoping to uplift his supporters as the pandemic has taken a toll on the economy and has killed about 170,000 Americans.
“Now you have a president who is fighting for you,” President Trump said. “We will again rebuild the greatest economy in history, it’s happening very fast you’re going to see it very soon and lift it to even more incredible heights than what we had last year. You had the greatest year in the history of your state last year.”