The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting almost every component of daily life in the United States, with more and more Americans coming to terms with what the “new normal” will look like. Yet, despite the tremendous shock waves with more than 90,000 dead and millions unemployed, our politics is regrettably more polarized than ever. Fortunately, there is an issue on which Joe Biden and Donald Trump can find common ground by standing with American manufacturing workers who are essential to a strong national economy and vibrant middle class.
As a governor and senator representing Indiana for many years, I’m the first to admit that policies hurting Indiana workers are deeply personal to me. The Hoosier State has more manufacturing employment per capita than any other. These issues also run in my family. In 1980, my father, also a U.S. senator, made his final campaign stop at the Alcoa smelter in Warrick County, Indiana. Recently, the smelter fell into dire straits as illegal, subsidized foreign aluminum surged into the United States, forcing the location to be shuttered.
However, under the Section 232 aluminum program, which gives the president authority to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, the plant was successfully restarted in 2018, bringing back more than 600 great Indiana workers with good jobs that support their families and the local community.
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