CLAIM: During the second evening of the Republican National Convention (RNC), life-long Democrat Bob Vlaisaljevich, the mayor of Eveleth, Minnesota, said President Trump’s economic nationalist agenda had brought the Iron Range “roaring back to life.”
VERDICT: True. In the last few years, specifically as a result of Trump’s 25 percent tariffs on foreign steel, brought an employment boom and economic stability to Minnesota’s Iron Range communities.
“[China] — and other supposed trade partners — dumped steel into our markets and slapped tariffs on us, tipping the scales in their favor. And what did our leaders do? Nothing,” Vlaisaljevich continued. “Then to make matters worse, the Obama-Biden administration crushed us with environmental regulations.”
“The human and economic cost has been devastating,” he said. “Even in our tiny town, we lost thousands of jobs . . . a 70% drop from 14,000 to 4,000. We lost a generation of young people who had to move out of the area to find a livelihood.”
“Four years later, I am happy to say that after decades of despair, the Iron Range is roaring back to life and we have one man to thank: President Donald Trump,” Vlaisaljevich said.
“He has made good on all of his campaign promises, and then some. He has fought to give us a fair chance to compete. He has become the ‘champion of working Americans,'” a blue-collar billionaire.
The Iron Range’s comeback, thanks to Trump’s agenda, has been well-documented over the last few years.
In March of last year, the Star Tribune reported:
Mines and logging companies are hiring, small businesses are expanding and Minnesota’s Iron Range is bouncing back from the mine and production facility closures that hit hard just a few years ago. [Emphasis added]
“A 5.2 percent increase in employment means a lot of money in the economy in northeastern Minnesota,” said Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota. “It means that families are able to pay for their necessities and have a little bit of savings at home as well.” [Emphasis added]
Iron ore exports were up 42 percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year, the forecast states. [Emphasis added]
In October 2018, Breitbart News reported how American steel workers in the Iron Range were able to secure a wage boost thanks to the president’s agenda:
The 1,850 American steelworkers who are set to see wage increases are based in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s Tilden and Empire mines and the United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Iron Range, Minnesota. [Emphasis added]
Trump’s agenda has also helped bring supporting industries back to the Iron Range, as the Star Tribune reported in July 2018:
Bailey and his wife, Tracy, bought the shuttered Courtyard Cafe on historic Howard Street. In December, they received some splashy company when the large BoomTown Brewery & Woodfire Grill opened a block up the road.
Not far away, cranes and cement trucks are cranking out factory additions at the pipemaker Iracore International, the truck cooling-system maker L&M Radiator and the custom manufacturer Range Steel Fabricators.
The level of activity has surprised some locals, but the reason behind it is clear: The iron ore companies are healthy again. Idled plants are reopened, with 2,000 employees back to work. [Emphasis added]
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.