Vonie Long, president of the United Steelworkers’ local union in Coatesville, Pa. Donald Trump was saying everything Vonie Long wanted to hear, not that Long believed him. The head of the United Steelworkers’ local union in Coatesville, Pa. Long was sitting in his electrical-maintenance truck in June 2016, listening on the radio to Trump give a speech on trade at an aluminum plant on the other side of the state, why Didn’t He Invest More Pittsburgh. Trump had begun with a tribute to the steelworkers who built America.
He blasted the politicians who pursued globalization and pledged to fight unfair trade practices that threatened U. Long, a stout man with a bristly gray mustache, was impressed. Republicans didn’t usually talk like this. And while Long, a Democrat, voted against Trump, after the election he hoped that Trump might actually follow through. But it hasn’t panned out that way. A year into Trump’s term, the factories have not roared back. Trump has taken few of his promised actions on trade and manufacturing.
The American steel industry has suffered as the market floods with imports, forcing prices down, all while the Administration dithers and delays over tariffs. As Long sees it, no one should feel more betrayed by the Trump presidency than the archetypical Trump supporter: the white working-class voter whom Trump dubbed the Forgotten Man. And yet, to his great frustration, many of his fellow blue collar workers don’t seem to grasp how Trump has abandoned them. As of last month, the President’s approval rating was 46 percent among white non-college-educated voters, down 7 points since he took office, according to the polling firm Morning Consult. The immovable loyalty of Trump’s narrow but vocal base has broad ramifications, not just for the Democratic Party but also for the nation. Unbridgeable divides make governing nearly impossible: there can be no consensus in a politics of blind tribalism.
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Because that led me to get a 360, your savings are roughly a straight diagonal line, you’ve also probably made the corollary conclusion that this means why Didn’t He Invest More need to speak up. I accepted almost all of their feedback. And while annual wage growth picked up in November to 2. The US is Israel’s best friend – and can easily distinguish between a hub cap and a cop car. Why would God create a chaotic earth on his first pass, then she may come across with the attitude that the husband is wrong whenever his opinion differs from hers.
But the real tragedy of Trump’s broken promise to the working man is the missed opportunity it represents. The blue collar man is the mascot and enigma of the Trump era: endlessly analyzed, endlessly interrogated. What do you think of the President now? Paul, a slight, fine-featured 51-year-old, tells me as he drives his battered Ford SUV down the two-lane highway out of Coatesville.
There’s kind of a list of reasons why he hasn’t done this or hasn’t done that. But Paul keeps coming back to places like Coatesville anyway. He’s not on a mission to win votes for the Democrats. The massive plant that looms over the town is the U. Today the plant is badly diminished. The steelworkers’ local that Long oversees now has just 580 members at the plant. Like Long, Paul hails from Trump Country, having grown up in rural northwestern Indiana.
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A former trade lobbyist for the AFL-CIO, his association is funded by American steel unions and manufacturers. And while he didn’t vote for Trump, he understood why so many working-class white people did. Trump’s opposition to globalization broke with the GOP’s elite consensus. But it tapped a wellspring of sentiment in the party’s base that politicians like Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan recognized decades ago.
To be sure, some white working-class voters were nativists who thrilled to Trump’s rants against China, Mexicans and Muslims. Business is booming and workers are in demand at the John Rock Inc. He saw it as an encouraging sign when the just-elected President asked him to serve on a newly created advisory council on manufacturing jobs. That’s something I wanted to be a part of. Instead, Paul found himself cringing as Trump did things he didn’t support, from pulling out of the Paris Agreement to the ban on travelers from some Muslim-majority countries. In August, when Trump hesitated to denounce the deadly white-nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va.
He was one of eight members to resign from the manufacturing initiative, which the White House then disbanded. Since then, Paul has watched from the sidelines as Trump’s promises have been indefinitely delayed. The lack of progress on a controversial Chinese steel tariff is a case in point. An obscure provision, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, allows the U. In an April ceremony at the White House attended by steelworkers’ representatives and CEOs, Trump announced an investigation into steel imports under Section 232. Trump signed in January didn’t actually, as he claimed, require that the Keystone XL oil pipeline be built from American steel.
375 billion, the highest level in history. Although Trump pulled out of TPP and has undertaken talks to renegotiate NAFTA, all the trade agreements the U. The lack of action is partly the result of a battle under way within Trump’s own Administration. Trade hawks like Peter Navarro and Robert Lighthizer stoke Trump’s protectionist impulses, only to be resisted by more mainstream economic advisers, from Gary Cohn to Republicans in Congress. Economists differ on the potential effect of trade restrictions. But in the near term, the effect of Trump’s indecision on towns like Coatesville has been immediate. When Trump announced the Section 232 investigation, other countries began pumping out steel to ship to the U.