Multiple former steelworkers, though, pointed out that the US steel industry is a long way from being able to meet US demand, no matter how high the president’s barriers to entry.
Frank Hawkey worked 31 years at Bethlehem steel. “These tariffs here are such a joke,” he said. “Every time you open up a can of vegetables, it’s either aluminum or steel. And they’re not getting that from the United States.
“The mills that have been shut down in the USA are now brownfields. There’s nothing left there. You could just survey Pittsburgh, Ohio – there’s a few plants going, like in Indiana, but they can’t supply everything.”
Larry Neff worked at Bethlehem Steel for 25 years. “Many of my brothers think it’s about 30 to 40 years too late,” he said. But he warned that the picture was no longer so simple.