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President Trump discusses mining industry and current trade issues with Northland leaders

Dozens of people piled in the Duluth Port Authority Wednesday to listen in on the roundtable discussion. 

The theme was ‘Protecting American Workers.’ 

Leaders from the Iron Range were invited to attend the discussion, where President Trump talked about the mining industry and current trade issues. 

"I got a call early Wednesday morning and they were interested in potentially coming up to the iron mines to see what our operations look like, and we were lucky and fortunate enough to be included in those conversations," said President of the Iron Minning Association, Kelsey Johnson.

Johnson wanted to personally thank President Trump on the dropping of exemptions on steel and aluminum tariffs.

"Primarily what our message is today is just to thank him again for the steel tariffs. So with the new tariffs and the trade talks with the way things are going we have seen an uptick in the demand for our iron and the steel that comes out of America," said Johnson.

President Trump acknowledged the current mining situation, saying how far it has come just from three years ago. 

"Kelsey, iron mining is really booming now with what we’ve done. It’s so important. I appreciate your support," said President Trump.

President Trump went on to say that America has the worst trade deals in the world, but he’s doing everything he can to take it back.

"We are taking it back for our workers, for our jobs, money, taxes. We have a lot of friends but our friends in many respects treated us worse on trade than the enemies and we are doing a lot of things about it. We are negotiating trade deals left and right," said President Trump.

St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber extended an invite to the Mayor of Babbitt, Andera Zupancich.

"That was a great honor and the first thing I said was I couldn’t believe it. So yeah, it’s amazing – the town is a huge support and excited for it," said Mayor Zupancich.

Mayor Zupancich hopes President Trump stands behind potential mining projects in the Superior National Forest.

"Those leases actually contribute billions of dollars to our Minnesota school trust funds which are k-12 funding for the entire state. So without those billions of dollars that is generating through this, the taxpayers will be liable for it," said Mayor Zupancich.

Several workers from the forestry and logging industries were also in attendance.


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