OPINION | Corey Lewandowski: Trump, American steel country still looks to you


President Trump took a bold step forward by reiterating his commitment to American workers as he continues to fight to end this American “carnage.”

Working with the Department of Commerce, the Trump administration just received a report through a Section 232 national security probe into imports of steel. The investigation lays out how steel imports have displaced U.S. production and forced domestic steel facilities to close down, costing tens of thousands of American jobs.

U.S. economic security as well as U.S. national security are at stake. Steel workers across the United States, many of whom voted for President Trump, are now patiently waiting for the administration to take the next steps forward with the Section 232 investigation. The president must stand shoulder to shoulder with the “forgotten men and women” of the American steel industry who have seen their livelihoods destroyed by imports.  

{mosads}Over the last number of years, the American steel industry has been decimated because Russia, Korea, Vietnam, Turkey, China, Brazil and other bad actors have not played by the rules. Since 2000, the U.S. steel industry has lost almost 48,000 jobs, including 14,000 in the last 18 months. This reality has put critical national security infrastructure at immediate risk. The U.S. military depends on steel production to support our troops who sacrifice both life and limb to keep us safe from those who wish to do us harm. Strict enforcement of Section 232 would allow the U.S. to continue to produce the steel needed to keep American families safe.

It should come as no surprise that the American steel industry has been at the core of many rural American communities, providing good paying jobs, prosperous local economies, and a fair shot at the American dream. Yet foreign steel overcapacity and surging imports have all too often stolen those opportunities and placed American workers at a disadvantage.

As President Trump’s campaign manager, I had the privilege of meeting many of these hardworking steel workers at campaign events and rallies. I saw their fear and heard their concerns, but remained optimistic as President Trump built his campaign on his promise of putting American workers first.

With minimal support from fellow Republicans, President Trump and his administration have taken it upon themselves to champion free and fair-trade policies that benefit tens of thousands of U.S. steel workers. For too long, U.S. trade policy has failed middle America and has resulted in economic displacement across the American heartland. No more. as President Trump favors an “America first” trade policy that puts the interests of ordinary Americans first, not the interests of out-of-touch liberal elites who are more focused on globalization.

As we take the next steps forward in the Section 232 investigation, our president should keep in mind those great Americans who supported his historic campaign that I was truly honored to be part of. Our president must decide how to best protect the “forgotten men and women” of the American steel industry who have seen their industry decimated by illegal foreign steel imports that are destroying good paying American jobs in rural communities. The final decision by President Trump will serve as a beacon of hope for American workers and send a clear and sharp message to the international community that our president will do whatever it takes to put American workers first.  

Now is the time for President Trump to move forward with the Section 232 investigation, announce tariffs on steel imports, and put American workers first. With President Trump standing up for American workers we will “Make America Great Again.”

Corey Lewandowski served as a former campaign manager to Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States. He is senior advisor and a spokesman for America First Action. Follow him on Twitter @CLewandowski_.

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