President Biden visits Pittsburgh for campaign

Spencer Thomas | Sports Editor | President Joe Biden stopped just down the road from Duquesne at the United Steel Workers Headquarters on Wednesday afternoon for a speech that ranged from steel imports, Nippon's purchase of U.S. Steel and his 2024 opponent Donald Trump's day in court.

Megan Trotter | News Editor

As part of his three-day campaign across Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden made his way to the United Steel Workers Headquarters — half a mile from Duquesne’s campus — on Wednesday and promised to protect the U.S. steel industry from unfair practices.

“My administration will also take a real hard look at Chinese government industrial practices when it comes to global shipbuilding, which is critical to our economy,” Biden said. “Right now my U.S. trade representative is investigating trade practices by the Chinese government regarding steel and aluminum.”

Biden kicked off his travel plans the previous day with a visit to his hometown in Scranton, and he continues the campaign to Philadelphia on Thursday.

Prior to his speech, International President of the United Steelworkers David McCall, Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey spoke.

McCall recounted the previous positive relationship between Biden and U.S. Steel.

“Our union has a long friendship with President Biden that began decades ago,” McCall said. “Over the years we’ve been proud to work with him, as together we fight to advance our union’s core values. Steel workers aren’t shy about sharing our opinions.”

Biden’s remarks began around 2:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the building. Standing behind him were 19 U.S. Steel workers, wearing USW t-shirts and holding signs.

In 2023 Biden joined the United Auto Workers’ strike and became the first president to walk a picket line.

The three-day campaign centered around Biden’s reputation as the “most pro-labor president of all time,” as referred to by Gainey.

Last month, U.S. Steel stockholders voted to approve a merger with the large Japanese company Nippon Steel. U.S. Steel CEO and president David B. Burritt called it “a clear endorsement,” according to CBS News.

However, Biden wants to keep steel domestic.

“U.S. Steel has been an iconic American company for more than a century. And it should remain totally American,” Biden said Wednesday.

Biden spoke about his recent investment in clean manufacturing — worth $1.5 billion and spanning across six steel projects.

Bernie Hall, the District 10 director of U.S. Steelworkers, said they were excited when Biden’s administration reached out to use the United Steel Workers Headquarters as the location of his Pittsburgh campaign.

“[The] president wanted to show his support,” Hall said to The Duke.

During Biden’s campaign stop, protestors gathered outside the United Steel Workers Headquarters.

Point Park student Isabella Drischler said her reason for protesting was because of the Israel and Palisetine conflict.

Because of the campaign’s close proximity to her campus, she took the opportunity to voice her concerns.

“As a Jewish individual, I think genocide is wrong,” she said to The Duke.

Despite protester’s unrest outside the building, Biden did not mention anything regarding the conflict.

Instead Biden said he wants to put a stop to imported material by tripling tariffs on Chinese steel.

Backed by U.S. Steelworkers, Biden criticized former President Donald Trump for wanting across-the-board tariffs on all imports from other countries. Biden said it would hurt American consumerism.

“The bottom line is I want fair competition with China, not conflict,” Biden said.

Innamorato said Allegheny County needs allies like Biden.

“We are going to build up the middle class now and into the future. A top priority for Allegheny County is to expand access to good paying jobs and growing industries,” she said.

Biden also took some time to crack a joke about his opponent in the 2024 general elections.

“My predecessor… who is busy right now,” Biden said with a chuckle. While Biden was on the campaign trail, Trump spent his Wednesday in criminal court regarding a “hush-money trial.”

Trump is being charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Under New York law, a person is guilty when their “records are falsified with the intent to commit or conceal another crime,” according to CNBC.