Rep. Stauber Opens Conversation Around Manufacturing and Trade with Roundtable Discussion

Ryan Juntti
Updated: May 12, 2019 11:25 PM

The section 232 trade action was the subject of a roundtable held in Duluth on Sunday afternoon.

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Rep. Pete Stauber hosted the discussion, which was meant to open up the conversation around trade and manufacturing in the region.

The panel consisted of a number of Iron Mining Association members, and representatives from communities, labor and small and large businesses that rely on iron mining for their livelihood. 

"Iron mining really does affect every aspect of the economy here, and so we would like to continue to grow our jobs, not only locally, but also nationally," said Iron Mining Association President Kelsey Johnson.

"I can't say enough about how critical the Iron Range and the shipping industry are to the steel making supply chain in this nation," said Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Deb DeLuca.

"Mining has fed, clothed, and educated my family since the late 1800's," said Minorca Mine Operations Manager Robb Peterson.

Rep. Stauber and White House Trade Advisor Dr. Peter Navarro asked questions of the panel relating to tariffs. The feedback they gathered would then be taken back to Washington.

Dr. Navarro says it's been a tough time for the trades in the past, but that things are turning around.

"These communities were ignored for decades by the bureaucrats in Washington as we saw our steel industry wither and almost die," said Dr. Navarro.

Dr. Navarro credits tariffs for what he says has been a renewed economic boost to the region. He says there is a misconception that tariffs drive up prices, which he believes couldn't be further from the truth.

"Tariffs are a necessary defense against unfair trade abroad," said Dr. Navarro.

After the roundtable discussion, Rep. Stauber and Dr. Navarro toured Gerdau Steel in West Duluth.

The tour was meant to show Dr. Navarro first hand all the work being done in the iron mining industry.  


Ryan Juntti

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