Brad Choat (KMOX)

Bulletin Calls for Respect Amid Presidential Visit Jitters

Social media has been buzzing since the planned visit was announced.

July 26, 2018 - 7:05 am

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOX) - President Donald Trump is scheduled to address hundreds of supporters in a warehouse at Granite City Steel this afternoon, highlighting the company's comeback after Trump slapped tariffs on foreign steel.  

White House Spokesman Brian Jack says one blast furnace that was shut down is now back on line, and another will be fired up in October.

“They themselves, the company itself has noted that over 800 people will come back to work, be put back to work because of the president’s economic policies, and this is an opportunity for us to go visit this facility,” Jack says.

Other jobs are threatened at a nail manufacturer or farms blamed on Trump’s tariffs. White House Spokesman Jessica Ditto says it's a process.

“The longstanding recognition across the country is the fact that China has treated our workers and our economy very unfairly. They are targeting key industries, and to fix that system, there’s going to need to be a long process,” she says.  

Before his tour of the Granite City plant, the president is scheduled to meet with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson when Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Something's a little different about today's presidential visit to the Metro East.

Granite City has a deep-rooted Democratic history.

That made it much easier for lots of townspeople in the blue-collar community to take, for instance, when Democratic President Jimmy Carter spoke outside South High School in November 1980.

This time, while pleased by the hundreds of jobs being touted by President Trump as he visits the U.S. Steel mill today, citing a direct result from his tariff on foreign made steel, there are still some within the community who cannot look past the president's controversial nature and worry about any trouble associated with his visit.

They've been assured police are fully prepared for any protests, but social media has been buzzing since the planned visit was announced. Some are trying to make sure the town looks good in the national and world spotlight.

There's a grassroots bulletin making the rounds on social media attributed to the local chamber of commerce.

It's asking folks in the Granite City area to gather peacefully in the downtown area and show respect to the office of the president. It also asks residents and businesses to display American flags.

The chamber is hoping businesses with billboards will display a "welcome" message to Trump.