Gov. Mark Dayton will travel to a meeting of state governors this weekend in hopes of enlisting support from his peers to restrict foreign steel imports.
A glut of steel on the global market has led to a downturn in the domestic steel industry, including northeastern Minnesota, which has idled several mines and laid off hundreds of employees.
Dayton said at a news conference Tuesday that he and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad are committed to helping affected workers in their states. They’ll both be at the winter meeting of the National Governors Association this weekend.
“We’re going to partner on the issue of restricting foreign steel imports into the United States to see how many other governors we can enlist in that fight,” Dayton said.
The governor unsuccessfully sought a special legislative session to provide some economic relief to miners. State leaders also met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough late last year on the Iron Range, requesting President Obama act under his trade authority to restrict steel imports.
Dayton said that while the federal government has “taken some steps … I’m very disappointed that they’re not taking a more aggressive stance.”
Legislative leaders expect to address the plight of Iron Range workers and say they hope to approve an extension of unemployment benefits at the start of the legislative session, which begins March 8.