White House Trade Advisor Dr. Peter Navarro Joins Regional Industry Leaders for Roundtable Discussion

Posted May 13, 2019

Today the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota (IMA) joined mining executives, elected officials, labor and business leaders in welcoming Dr. Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center in Duluth, MN.

The roundtable discussion, hosted by U.S. Congressman Pete Stauber, highlighted the importance of the Section 232 trade action which resulted in tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, authorizes the President of the United States to place tariffs on imports that threaten national security.

The panel consisted of several Iron Mining Association members and representatives from communities, labor and small and large businesses that rely on iron mining for their livelihood. Panelists included Craig Fellman, CEO, The JAMAR Company; Brian Maki, CEO,  Lakehead Constructors; Larry Sutherland, General Manager, US Steel; Clifford Smith, COO, Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.; Robb Peterson, Operations Manager, ArcelorMittal; Deb DeLuca, Executive Director, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Al Hodnik, CEO, Minnesota Power; Craig Olson, President and Darrell Godbout, Vice President, Duluth Building Trades Council, and Andrea Zupancich, Mayor of the City Babbitt.

“The iron mined in northern Minnesota is a critical resource for steel-making in the United States,” said Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota.  “We need a strong iron ore and steelmaking sector to ensure the safety of American citizens.”  Johnson told Dr. Navarro that the Section 232 tariffs have helped improve the iron mining industry which has had a positive impact on the economy Northeastern Minnesota.

Some of the panelists also highlighted the need for the expedited adoption of the USMCA, the new NAFTA trade agreement for the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Following the roundtable discussion, Congressman Stauber and Dr. Navarro toured Canadian National’s ore dock and IMA member company, Gerdau Steel which are both located in Duluth.