President Donald Trump will be visiting a Metro East steel mill that is boosting production as he faces opposition to his imposition of tariffs in international trade disputes.
The White House says Trump will talk about trade during an event Thursday afternoon at the U.S. Steel Corp. plant in Granite City for his first trip to Illinois since becoming president.
The company started in March restarting two blast furnaces at the Granite City Works that were shut down in 2015, costing 2,000 jobs. U.S. Steel recalled about 800 workers.
The U.S. has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, including from Europe. China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico have responded with taxes on some U.S. goods.
When President Trump visits Illinois this week for the first time since the 2016 election, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner won’t be there.
Political protocol usually dictates that a Republican governor like Rauner does everything possible to crowd into a camera shot with a president of the same party -- like Trump. Not so for Rauner.
The governor was asked Monday about attending Trump’s event in southwestern Illinois.
“Uh, I heard the president is coming to Granite City, I think, either Thursday or Friday. Thursday. I uh do not plan to go.”
The governor’s in a tough-re-election battle against Democrat JB Pritzker and has barely mentioned Trump’s name. It’s easy to understand why.
Trump lost Illinois in 2016. And recent polling has nearly 60 percent of Illinois voters disapproving of Trump.