A group of workers in the steel and aluminum industry spoke with reporters outside the White House, after attending a signing ceremony for President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs at the Oval Office.
Dusty Stevens, a superintendent at Century Aluminum Potline in Kentucky, said that new tariffs would help his factory ramp up production to full capacity.
“This is going to bring over 300 jobs to the surrounding community,” he said.
Each of the workers that brought hard hats to the Oval Office had them signed by President Trump.
“It’s huge for our community,” said James Powell, another superintendent from Century Aluminum. He commented that he was unaware of any current politician making such an impact on his industry. He specifically cited an old job he had in Texas at a steel smelter before it shut down.
“It devastated the community, I was pretty much hopeless, didn’t know what to do,” he said. He said later found a job at Century Aluminum.
Sonya Johnson, another worker from Century Aluminum, agreed.
“These are very exciting times for us,” she said, pointing to more lines of production that were already planned for an increase.
Scott Sauritch, the leader of the Steelworkers 2227 local union in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, said he was appreciative of the president following through on his commitment to back steelworkers.
“He was very sincere about helping the steelworkers out,” he said. “He empathized with our struggles.”
Sauritch admitted he was surprised that Trump kept his campaign promises on that issue, despite pressure from members of his own party.
“When he comes to the table, I’m very happy,” he said. “Am I surprised? I guess I am.”