President Trump: American Steel for Pipelines or No Pipelines At All

WASHINGTON, DC – Thousands of conservative activists, college students, politicians and media converged upon the Garylord National Resort and Conference Center at National Harbor in Maryland Feb. 22-25 for the Conservative Political Action Conference.  The conference’s four days were filled with educational seminars, activism training and speeches by conservative elected officials, activists and media personalities.  Vice President Mike Pence addressed the group on Feb. 23. On Friday, Feb. 24, President Donald Trump was greeted by a standing-room-only crowd, raucously cheering him as he took the stage.  The CPAC attendees gave Trump with a standing ovation that lasted several minutes and only stopped when he insisted they sit down.  In his speech, Trump reiterated the promises made to the American people on the campaign trail and updated CPAC attendees on the progress he has made so far to keep those promises.

One of the many promises he made was to authorize the building of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines that were held up by environmental studies and/or rejected by President Obama during his presidency. Today, President Trump said, “We have authorized the construction, one day, of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline.”  

Trump explained that while he was preparing to sign off on the pipelines, he asked where the pipes were made, and was told that the steel for the pipelines comes from all over the world.  Upon hearing this, Trump issued a new rule:  American Steel for American pipelines or no pipelines at all.

The downturn in the steel industry has led to layoffs of Minnesota’s Iron Range workers.  As MPRNews reported last November, hundreds of northern steelworkers have been laid off for months: But the layoff has dragged on, month after month, for about 200 workers at KeeTac (a US Steel iron ore plant in Keewatin, Minnesota). Another 400 workers on the Range are also still out of work because of closures at smaller iron ore facilities, part of a wave of shutdowns that hit the Iron Range over the past two years during a major downturn in the global steel industry.”

In December of 2016, US Steel CEO Mario Longhi told CNBC the company “would like to accelerate its investments and hire back laid-off employees now that Donald Trump will be occupying the Oval Office.” Longhi said the foreseeable improvement to the tax laws and regulations brought on by President Donald Trump, would drive the company’s direction.  Longhi said,  “I’d be more than happy to bring back the employees we’ve been forced to lay off during that depressive period,” he said, which “could be close to 10,000 jobs.”

According to Fox21 News (Duluth-Superior), Longhi’s plans to hire back laid-off workers have resulted in the re-hiring of 200 Keetac workers in January of 2017.  Production is expected to resume in March 2017, at which time the employees laid off in May 2015 are expected to return to work.

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle is a former writer for Alpha News.