Donald Trump's tariffs have gone down pretty well in Pittsburgh – also known as Steel City.

This proud place was once the beating heart of a mighty industry, even naming its own football team after the metal that poured out of its huge mills and factories.

Despite reinventing itself as a healthcare and robotics hub, much of the identity of its working class residents remains tied to a bygone golden age of steel.

And so President Trump's campaign pledge to help protect American manufacturing from the malign effect of cheap foreign steel and aluminium helped propel him to victory in this reliably democratic state in 2016.

Now, he has delivered on his promise.

If this populist gamble works, it will almost guarantee Pennsylvania's loyalty in 2020.

Video:Trump orders tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminium

People at the Lane Steel company, which sits on the river in McKee Rocks, told me how comforted they were by a president willing to go in to bat for American workers.

"All we want is for it to be fair," said the owner Paul Gedeon, whose father founded the company decades ago.

He told me his steel prices had gone up 30% since December, just on the rumours of tariffs alone.

A machinist called Marcus, who doubles as the factory minister, said simply: "Donald Trump is helping me feed my family."

The President's supporters have hailed the move
Image:The President's supporters have hailed the move

But the tariffs are not being welcomed quite so joyfully just a mile down the road, where a company called Steel Smith, which specialises in manufacturing and constructing steel buildings, is erecting a structure on the side of a factory.

Its owner Don Gilmore told me he had weathered other storms, but accepted his costs may go up, along with volatility in the industry.

One of his sales team mused that there was a "little bit of worry" about unintended effects on other areas of the economy, and hoped there would not be a trade war.

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Video:Steel tariffs: 'We want it to be fair'

But I was most struck by a conversation with the site supervisor, a blue collar guy who voted for Mr Trump because he was sick and tired of Washington elites.

He was genuinely glad at the US leader's posture on trade, proud that the horse he had backed was coming through on the things that matter to him.

What about Russia? The Twitter habit? Apparent White House chaos? I asked.

One supporter called Mr Trump's activity on Twitter 'noise'
Image:One supporter called Mr Trump's activity on Twitter 'noise'

"Doesn't matter," he said.


"In fact, sometimes I like it.

"He's crushed the mould of what it means to be an American President.

"As long as he comes through on the economy, I'm gonna tolerate a lot of that other stuff."

More from Donald Trump

President Trump knows that. It was his basic bargain with the voters who put him in the White House.

As a journalist, amid all the sound and fury of the daily news cycle, it is good to be reminded of how little most of it matters to many of his supporters.

Original Article

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Sky News

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