Sen. Al Franken Condemns Stewart Mills for Putting Cheap Chinese Steel Above Minnesota Jobs

Republican candidate calls the use of Chinese steel a “competitive business decision”

Today, US Senator Al Franken joined voices across Minnesota in condemning Stewart Mills III for putting cheap Chinese steel above Minnesota jobs. Mills defended Donald Trump’s use of Chinese steel to build his hotels, calling it “a competitive business decision.” Confronted about that comment. Mills went further, defending Trump again calling criticism of the practice “unfair.”

This practice poses a direct threat to the economy of Minnesota’s Iron Range, which has seen several plants idled and hundreds of workers laid off due to the importation of cheap steel from China. Though some plants have re-opened, others have not, and Chinese steel dumped into the American market remains a real threat to Iron Range jobs – a threat Franken and Rep. Rick Nolan are working hard to combat.

Mills’ comments are particularly surprising, given that they’re a complete reversal from what he said in 2014. During that campaign, after GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden said he would support building the Keystone Pipeline with Chinese steel, “Mills was unequivocal” in opposing the use of Chinese steel to build pipelines, even going so far as to say, “Why would we ever want to reward them for cheating?”

“You don’t support Minnesota’s Iron Range if you support Chinese Steel. Period,” said Al Franken. “Yet Stewart Mills supports using Chinese steel if it pads the profits of billionaires, even though it hurts Minnesota families. Mills didn’t deserve the votes of Minnesotans in the 8th District in 2014, and it’s clear he’s even less deserving of their votes now.”

Filed under: DFL News, Election Coverage, Iron Range / Northern Minnesota Area News