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Mining, Minnesota could play big roles in 2020 election

NASHWAUK, MN — Win Minnesota. That was President Trump’s message during a recent rally in Minneapolis where he vowed to fight to win the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and the votes of Iron Range miners.

“For the next 13 months, we are going to fight with all of our hearts and win the great state of Minnesota,” said President Trump at a campaign rally at the Target Center Thursday.

The last time around, in 2016, long-time Iron Range author Aaron Brown said President Trump came closer than experts expected in a traditionally blue state.

“If you look at the states that were reasonably close in 2016 that he did not win, it was a shortlist and Minnesota is one of the few ones.”

In visits to the state, the President expressed his support for the mining industry, but Brown said a recent statement wasn’t exactly correct.

“President Trump said he opened the Iron Range after President Obama closed it. That’s not true,” said Brown.

He’s referring to the shutdown of mines on the Iron Range in 2015 due, in large part, to illegal steel dumping.

“After a process of hearings and visits to the area, President Obama had implemented some strategic tariffs on foreign steel and that had begun to work.”

Leading to mines opening back up and people going back to work.

“What he could say that would have been more accurate is that during the time he’s been in office the fortunes of Range mines have improved, that is true,” said Brown in reference to President Trump.

That’s due in part to when President Trump took office in 2017 he also imposed tariffs.

“I’ve placed tariffs on foreign aluminum and foreign steel, and I’m also fighting back against years of chronic trade abuse from China and the supply chain of China, which is unbreakable, is now breaking wide open,” said President Trump at the Minnesota rally.

The President also spoke about restoring mineral exploration in the Superior National Forest for projects like Twin Metals.

Brown said he believes mining will continue to be a difficult topic of conversation in the political field and for candidates, it’s all about the message.

“When you can boil it down to a really simple message like one candidate is for mining, one candidate is against it, well that makes it simple for a voter, it’s just difficult because it’s not always an accurate impression of what’s happening.”

On Tuesday President Trump announced a trade agreement with China, saying he struck a deal for $50 billion worth of agricultural products. 

RELATED: Trump touts Iron Range, blasts Minnesota elected officials in campaign stop

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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