Trump Roundtable Focused on Mining and Shipping

Updated: June 21, 2018 10:33 AM

During a nearly hour-long roundtable, mining got its moment, big time. President Trump was able to address about a dozen people who are advocates for the industry. He started off with comments about the economy, healthcare, and wages. He introduced those at the roundtable, and joked about some of the names. Then, it was discussion time.

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Each person at the table was able to speak for a few moments, and then Trump would respond. There were mayors, steelworkers, and politicians. In the crowd, other leaders in mining, logging, shipping, and major industry.

Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association, was sitting directly to the left of the president. She found out about that position late Tuesday night, and was very honored. She was the first one who got to speak after Mr. Trump, and thanked him for the Section 232 investigation. "It was a very awesome experience. We wanted to relay the message about the Section 232, and the work he's done to ensure our nation's security."

A Two Harbors city councilor and long-time worker at Northshore Mining added his personal story. "Back in 2015, the plant was idled because of the steel imports. We all got laid off. It was not a good feeling. With your tariffs, we don't have to worry about it anymore, hopefully, we'll keep going strong."

Mike Tichy, a steelworker from United Taconite, was further down at the roundtable. He also thanked Trump. Afterwards, he told us, "I just wanted to thank him on behalf of my fellow workers. I've been doing this for 42 years, and lost my job a few times because of illegal imports. He's keeping his promises." When asked what he's going to tell his co-workers, he said, "I'm going to tell them he's a regular guy. He's looking out for them. He wants us to be successful here in Minnesota."

Ray Klosowski, who represented the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, referenced the successes of the port. Duluth Cargo Connect folks in the crowd got some applause.

A few of the people, like Dean Carlson from Minntac, referenced the new copper-nickel mining on the horizon. "It's very important to have these mines take place, and revitalize northeast Minnesota."

Commissioner Keith Nelson was one of the final speakers. First, he asked about Melania, to which Trump said, "She's 100%." The crowd clapped. He acknowledged the general managers of the mines, who were asked to stand. The crowd clapped again. Jon Cherry, the CEO of PolyMet, also stood and was acknowledged.

He also promised Trump, "This Iron Range will make this country proud." Trump replied, "I know that."

Trump said he was looking forward to being at the rally. He shook a few more hands, and then left for AMSOIL.

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