Liberty Steel Mill in the heart of Georgetown will soon see a new life after closing almost three years ago.
Steel workers credit President Donald Trump’s controversial plan to put tariffs on imported steel and aluminum for the mill’s re-opening.
While the results of President Trump’s proposal have yet to be seen, union leaders at Liberty Group said 16 people have been called in today to begin the hiring process.
The group promises 125 people will be working at their facility later this year.
Boris Gibson lost his job at the mill in July 2015.
“It’s been a struggle. But doing odd jobs here and there,” Gibson said.
Gibson said he is supportive of ideas to add tariffs to steel imports.
“I believe these tariffs should have been put in a long time ago. And maybe we wouldn’t have been at this point right now being out of work at all,” Gibson said.
Several members of United Steelworkers Union Local 7898 say they agree with the president’s view of securing fair trade through tariffs on imported steel.
“The American people right now are suffering in the United States because of these unfair trade deals. And these economists, these business people that’s running around hollering that these tariffs are going to hurt the American people are just absolutely wrong,” said Jim Sanderson, president of the USW Local 7898.
Sanderson disagrees with critics who believe taxing steel imports will hurt the economy.
In fact, it appears to have the opposite effect in Georgetown.
What appeared to be maintenance crews were seen pressure washing various sections of a rusted relic this week.
It offers hope for steelworkers like Gibson.
“I believe we’ll be sustained here for a long time to come,” Gibson said.