The magazine provides an on-the-ground report from Pennsylvania steel country.
Ever since President Trump was elected in November 2016, journalists from publications large and small have traveled to small towns in the industrial midwest — many of them former Democratic strongholds — to gain insight into why Trump got elected and what people there want from the president.
Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul recently joined TIME magazine's Molly Ball for one such trip, this one to Coatesville, Pa. The small town is home to the nation's longest continuously operating steel plant, which produces essential products for the military like the mine-resistant armor used to protect military vehicles in combat.
The entire article is worth your time, and we hope you will read it and share it with your friends and colleagues.
But we will point out in this space that many of the Americans who voted for Trump — and even some of them who didn't — are counting on the president to enact policy that will help the working class. Thus far in his term, Trump has largely disappointed. For example, the president promised to act swiftly in his "Section 232" national security investigation to defend American steel from imports, but has yet to do anything:
"[T]he effect of trump's indecision on towns like Coatsville has been immediate. When Trump announced the Section 232 investigation, other countries began pumping out steel to ship to the U.S. before a tariff took hold. The glut of supply sent steel prices tumbling. A pipe mill outside Harrisburg has had layoffs, as has a steel mill in Conshohocken. Another in Kentucky announced it will shut down."
There's still time for Trump to take action in the 232 investigation (and we hope he does ASAP) along with other key priorities to help the working class. But until he does, his presidency is a missed opportunity to help many of the people he pledged to support.
"Trump had a chance, advocates argue, to bring back American manufacturing—and spur a populist political realignment in the process," Ball writes. "Many of the residents of Trump Country, the nation's hallowed-out former industrial heartland, still hold out hope that he can do it. But the President seems to have forgotten them."