The retired steelworker who voted for Trump calls US tariffs “cops – t”.
Bob Dyky is exactly the guy US President Donald Trump is trying to please by imposing new tariffs on Canada – but the retired Pennsylvania steelworker is not impressed.
The tariffs, which US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced in a telephone conference on Thursday, threaten to impose a tariff of 25 percent on steel imports and a tariff of 10 percent on aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
But Dyky, who voted for Trump, says Canada should be exempt.
He spoke to Carol Off, host of As It Happens, from his hometown of Monessen, Penn.
Here is part of that conversation.
Bob, what do you think of President Trump proposing tariffs on Canadian steel?
I do not agree with that at all.
The United States and Canada are more than allies; they are partners.
And if we go back and look at history, especially in the steel regions, the Great Lakes region … transportation, trucks, cars, planes – everything was made here.
And if it weren’t for what happened in this area and in the Great Lakes region, we would speak German now. You would never have won the war.
Do other people in Pennsylvania, Monessen, and your neighborhood share your view that Canadian steel should be exempt from these tariffs?
Everyone I talk to has.
A US flag flies in front of the blast furnaces at the now closed Bethlehem Steel Mill in Bethlehem, Penn. (Brian Snyder / Reuters)
What do you say to Mr. Trump?
He has to deal intensively with the NAFTA agreement, especially with regard to Mexico, because there the preponderance of jobs predominated. You didn’t go to Canada. In fact, Canada lost the deal too.
What he’s saying is he wants to get the people of Pittsburgh back to work, and that’s the way to do it.
I don’t think anyone will work again in Monessen because the mill is gone. It was torn down and torn down.
Some people have jobs. Some people have jobs. Mr. Trump says he’s putting these tariffs on Canadian steel … for you. Who do you think he’s doing this for?
I don’t know who he thinks he’s doing it for. He’s not doing it for the people in Monessen or the Pittsburgh area.
There are some small jobs in places like Westinghouse Air Brake that call my friend and his coworkers back to work. But you’re talking about 50, 75, 100 people.
Yes, we’ll take a little time. All jobs are better than no jobs. But on a large scale for the greater Pittsburgh area, I don’t see any impact.
When it comes to retaliation, who does it help? Nobody.
Well, there will be retaliation. We are hearing today from our own government that they will not sit down, that there will be retaliatory tariffs on United States products … What do you think of that?
To be very clear, I think they’re all cops – t, because the tariffs on this side of the border should never have been primarily against Canada. Period.
How do you think retaliation is affecting your economy?
Any retaliation is not good for either side.
All it is going to do is increase the cost for everyone and that is not a good thing. Cooperation is the name of the game between the United States and Canada.
Get it ready. Get off your high horse and just forget about the tariff bulls – t.
Donald Trump delivers a speech at the Alumisourse building in Monessen, Pennsylvania during the 2016 US presidential campaign. (Louis Rüdiger / Reuters)
What would you like to say to Mr Trump today?
Get out of Twitter.
[Laughs] OK, what then?
[Laughs] There are things I wouldn’t say to a lady.
What would you say to your Canadian neighbors?
It’s very unhappy and I’m sorry it happened and it should never have happened. It should never have been considered, let alone stand on the table and come into effect.
It’s ridiculous, it’s ridiculous, it’s not right. Never should anyone have thought of it.
Written by Sheena Goodyear with files from Reuters. Interview by Imogen Birchard. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.