State Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, and state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, are applauding the steel tariffs put in place by Republican President Donald Trump ahead of his visit to the Granite City Works steel mill on Thursday.
“I am glad to see the reactivation of two blast furnaces at the Granite City mill,” Costello said in a news release. “Our region is witnessing the positive results of our country’s new tariffs on steel. As a result, middle-class families, local businesses and others are seeing the real effects of investment in our capable workforce and community. We need to continue to push policies on both the state and national level that will continue to foster the creation of good-paying jobs.”
Bristow commended the President’s efforts to bring back steel jobs in the metro-east.
“One of my main priorities in Springfield has been fighting for local jobs and to restore those that we have seen outsourced overseas,” Bristow said. “I am encouraged and excited to see the reactivation of two blast furnaces in Granite City, restoring local jobs to our communities and providing jobs for middle class families.”
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In March, Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel imports. The reactivation of previously-shuttered blast furnaces at Granite City is expected to bring back 800 jobs by October.
Costello is up for re-election and is being challenged by Republican David Friess of Red Bud. Costello has been considered one of the most conservative Democratic members in the state House.
The steel mill is not in Costello’s district. Costello’s district, which leans Republican, covers all or parts of St. Clair, Monroe, Randolph and Perry counties. In combined results from those four counties, Trump bettered Hillary Clinton by about 10,000 votes in the 2016 election.
Bristow was appointed to fill the seat of former state Rep. Daniel Beiser, a Democrat who won his last election with only 52.6 percent of the vote. Beiser resigned from the seat last year. Bristow’s district runs from just north of Granite City up to the southern portion of Jersey County.
Bristow is running against Republican Mike Babcock in November’s election.