Trump to Promote Impact of Steel Tariffs in Illinois


ST. LOUIS — President Trump plans to travel here later on Thursday to visit a steel mill that the White House says benefited from his tough trade moves against China and other steel exporters, a day after he temporarily averted a trade war with the European Union.

Mr. Trump’s visit to the Granite City Works in Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, captures the crosscurrents of his protectionist trade policies. United States Steel Corporation, which owns the plant, credits Mr. Trump’s tariffs on imported steel, including from China, with enabling it to start up two idled blast furnaces.

But China’s retaliatory measures on American soybean exports have hurt farmers in the Midwest. In a surprise agreement announced on Wednesday, the European Union agreed to increase its purchases of soybeans, as part of package that could potentially allow it to escape tariffs on automobiles, if the two sides can agree on across-the-board reductions in tariffs and other trade barriers.

Mr. Trump was under intense pressure from farm-state Republican to cushion the blow to soybean farmers. Earlier in the week, the White House announced it would provide up to $12 billion in emergency relief to farmers hurt by the trade war.

On the first crystal-clear day in Washington after a rain-sodden week, Mr. Trump traveled to Joint Base Andrews by motorcade instead of his customary Marine One helicopter — a decision the White House attributed to bad weather.

Mr. Trump has been refusing to answer questions about his sundered relationship with his personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, who recently released a tape of him and Mr. Trump discussing a payment Mr. Cohen made to secure the rights to a Playboy model’s story in which she alleges she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

Reporters normally shout questions at the president as he leaves the White House and walks across the South Lawn to the helicopter. The White House declined to elaborate on why Mr. Trump traveled by motorcade, an arrangement that enabled him to avoid reporters.


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