PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A dozen top manufacturing business leaders gathered at the White House on Monday morning to meet with President Trump in what he described as his first “official” meeting.
And a Pittsburgh CEO was there — Mario Longhi, president and CEO of the U.S. Steel Corporation.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccinations In Pittsburgh: AHN Administers Thousands Of Shots On Saturday
“What we want is fair trade, fair trade. We’re going to treat countries fairly, but they have to treat us fairly,” the President told the executives.
Longhi and the American steel industry have long argued that foreign countries like China and their government-backed steel companies are illegally dumping steel in the United States.
Most of Monday’s meeting was behind closed doors, and neither Longhi nor U.S. Steel would comment on the substance of the discussion, but the president gave a hint of what fair trade looks like during his opening public remarks.
“As an example, we sell a car into Japan and they do things to us that makes it impossible for us to sell cars in Japan, and yet they sell cars to us. And they come in by the hundreds of thousands on the biggest ships I’ve ever seen. We have to all talk about that. It’s not fair.”READ MORE: Gateway Athletic Director And Head Football Coach Tells Coaches Not To Apply For Pine Richland Job
When the president campaigned in Monessen at a closed steel mill last June 28, he pledged, “I know you’ve been through some very, very tough times, but we’re going to make it better, and we’re going to make it better fast. Just watch.”
This White House meeting was the start.
While Longhi didn’t speak, Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields was hopeful.
“I know I come out with a lot of confidence that the president is very, very serious in making sure that the American economy is strong,” said Fields.
The meeting in the Roosevelt Room was supposed to last an hour, but the president reconvened the business leaders in the Oval Office for another hour.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
He asked them to report back in 30 days on ways to create more manufacturing jobs, and he warned companies not to relocate outside our borders or they’d face taxes on their products produced abroad.