President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum have come under fire from many business groups around the country, but the president found a friend in the iron mining industry during his visit to Duluth, Minnesota.
Iron, which is the main ingredient in steel, is a major industry in the state of Minnesota.
“He’s been fantastic on our issue and really, this has changed the dynamic in the economy in northeastern Minnesota so we’re really supportive,” Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, told FOX Business. “In 2015, we had a significant economic downturn due to high levels of imported steel and unfortunately, that really affected our iron mines in Northeast Minnesota.”
The iron industry has contributed more than $3 billion to the state, per the IMA, and has created over 11,000 jobs.
Minnesota’s iron mines account for 80% of first production steel in the U.S. Steel is then used to make everything from washing machines to refrigerators.
Tariffs might be popular among miners in states such as Minnesota, but they are facing new pressure from the politically influential Koch brothers.
As FOX Business reported, three groups linked to the Republican donors – Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative – announced in early June they would be launching a campaign to push for free trade.
The Koch Network will spend millions of dollars over several years on the campaign, which will stress that tariffs essentially act as taxes on consumers, considering they eventually lead to higher prices. The campaign will reportedly also call on lawmakers to get involved.
The radio and TV campaign launches on June 25 and follows a fresh tariff spat with China. Earlier this week, Trump threatened to slap $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods.