President Donald Trump has vowed to bring the U.S. steel industry back to life, but on Thursday at the White House, it was a union leader who rhetorically revived his own father.
Shortly before signing new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, the president turned the mic over to several workers from the industry who were invited to the summit in the West Wing.
Scott Sauritch, leader of the Steelworkers 2227 local union in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, told the president and assembled reporters that his father, Herman, a former worker in the steel industry, once lost his job due to increased imports.
“I’d like to tell you a story about my father during the '80s,” Sautrich said. “My father lost his job due to imports coming into this country, and I just want to tell you, what that does to a man with six kids is devastating.”
Sautrich said he was “humbled” by the opportunity to speak at the White House and thanked Trump for his work.
"Your father, Herman, he's looking down, and he's very proud of you right now," Trump told him.
"Oh, he's still alive,” Sauritch replied, as the room burst into laughter.
“Then he’s even more proud of you,” Trump, smiling, quipped in response.
The president on Thursday signed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, a move that faced opposition from political leaders within his own party and in his administration.
“The American steel, aluminum industry has been ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices," Trump said. "It’s really an assault on our country.”