Trump Promised to Protect Steel. Layoffs Are Coming Instead.

The layoffs have stunned these steelworkers who, just a year ago, greeted President Trump’s election as a new dawn for their industry. Mr. Trump pledged to build roads and bridges, strengthen “Buy America” provisions, protect factories from unfair imports and revive industry, especially steel.

.. Foreign steel makers have rushed to get their product into the United States before tariffs start. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, which tracks shipments, steel imports were 19.4 percent higher in the first 10 months of 2017 than in the same period last year.

.. When ArcelorMittal announced the layoffs in Conshohocken, it blamed those imports, as well as low demand for steel for bridges and military equipment.

.. Earlier this year, tariffs seemed imminent. Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, said in late May that he expected to conclude the steel investigation by the end of June.

And in early June, Mr. Trump told a crowd in Cincinnati, “Wait till you see what I’m going to do for steel and your steel companies,” vowing that he would “stop the dumping” of products at superlow prices by other countries.

We’ll be seeing that very soon. The steel folks are going to be very happy,” he said.

.. Some officials, like Mr. Ross — a former steel executive who was on ArcelorMittal’s board until he was confirmed in February — wanted to push ahead with tariffs. But others, including economic and national security advisers, worried about repercussions, trade advisers say.

.. The tariffs had plenty of opponents. Automakers, food processors and companies in other industries that use steel and aluminum in their products complained that tariffs would drive up costs and make them less competitive, ultimately sacrificing more American jobs than they would save.

.. “The president’s own words and lack of action have actually put the industry in a worse position than if he had done nothing at all,”

Workers endured long hours, low pay at Chinese factory used by Ivanka Trump’s clothing-maker

Workers at a factory in China used by the company that makes clothing for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and other brands worked nearly 60 hours a week to earn wages of little more than $62 a week, according to a factory audit released Monday.

.. contractor, G-III Apparel Group, which has held the exclusive license to make the Ivanka Trump brand’s $158 dresses, $79 blouses

.. Its release also comes as the president’s daughter has sought to cast herself as both a champion of workplace issues and a defender of her father’s “buy American, hire American” agenda. Trump, whose book “Women Who Work” debuts next week, was in Germany on Tuesday for public discussions about global entre­pre­neur­ship and empowerment.

.. Chinese factories are by far the dominant suppliers for Ivanka clothes, though G-III also works with manufacturers across Vietnam, Bangladesh and South America. G-III factories overseas have shipped more than 110 tons of Ivanka-brand blouses, skirts, dresses and other garments to the United States since October, shipping data shows.

.. The clothing line licensed by President Trump’s private business is also almost entirely made in foreign factories.

.. The factory’s workers made between 1,879 and 2,088 yuan a month, or roughly $255 to $283, which would be below minimum wage in some parts of China.

.. Fewer than a third of the factory’s workers were offered legally mandated coverage under China’s “social insurance” benefits, including a pension and medical, maternity, unemployment and work-related injury insurance, inspectors found.

.. But it did not commit to increasing worker pay and at times pushed back against recommendations that could improve workplace safety.

.. sales of Trump’s brand have boomed in the months since her father began his pursuit of the White House. Net sales for her clothing collection soared by $17.9 million in the year that ended Jan. 31, G-III data shows.