* Kinda puts Gov. Rauner in a bind. From the Belleville News-Democrat…
President Donald Trump announced Sunday he plans to visit Granite City on Thursday, where a U.S. Steel Corp. mill reopened in March.
While Trump has not specified the reason for his visit, about 800 employees have been called back to work for the U.S. Steel Corp since Trump announced he would be placing tariffs on foreign steel in March.
The tariffs were aimed mainly at China, which had been accused of dumping steel into the U.S. market at lower costs.
In a press release in March, U.S. Steel Corp said the change was due to an anticipated demand for steel in the United States due to Trump’s announcement in March that the federal government would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports.
Trump mentioned U.S. Steel at the White House’s Roosevelt Room during a ceremony surrounding the tariffs, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The newspaper reported that Trump said the reopening of the Granite City plant is a “big one” and thought it was the start of many closed plants reopening across the country.
As we’ve already discussed, the plant supplies the Texas oil industry with pipe, and that state’s oil industry is rebounding because of high prices.
* There’s also this…
Simmons, president of the Steelworkers Local, said they have been advocating for the reopening of the plant for years. While Simmons said Trump’s announcement poised them in a position to reopen, market trends indicated the mill could have reopened long before Trump’s announcement.
“Conditions and market trends have been inching up enough for us to start up without the trade case,” he said.
“We should have started up a few times. They had some missed opportunities on making some good profits. They were wanting such securities (the tariffs),” he said.
Six weeks before the facility’s closure was announced, Simmons said they completed a trial for high-strength steel and were the only facility in North America capable of creating it due to their advanced equipment. This high-quality grade of steel was of interest to automakers like Nissan, which wanted the steel for its 2018 Nissan Altima model.
…Adding… Just in from the Pritzker campaign…
his Thursday, Donald Trump will be in Granite City, Illinois, but will Bruce Rauner join him?
Rauner has spent the last month cozying up to Trump — praising his policies and calling his Vice President one of the “greatest leaders in American history.” But as the Chicago Tribune reports, “embracing the president can create political hurdles, especially after the governor has tried to avoid addressing the president’s almost daily controversies throughout much of his first term.” So, will Rauner appear with Trump in Illinois on Thursday?
“From his silent partner to a vocal supporter, Bruce Rauner has been Donald Trump’s staunch ally while his hatred and devastating policies wreck Illinois,” said Pritzker campaign spokesman Jason Rubin. “Will Rauner fully embrace or run scared of Trump when he comes to Illinois?”
*** UPDATE 1 *** Not unexpected, but decent snark from McCann…
*** UPDATE 2 *** The governor’s full explanation…
* Rauner embrace of Trump means more questions about president