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February 23, 2024

With the South Carolina 2024 Republican presidential primary and Super Tuesday fast approaching, change is needed urgently, or it’s lights out for our great republic.

It is crucial that American voters are well informed as they go to the polls. In 2024, we have witnessed some progress in putting America first, from states’ fight against the fentanyl epidemic to the historic impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, but we’re a long way from the November election.

With the media, Washington deep state and economic globalists working as an unholy trinity, we won’t have the luxury President Biden enjoys of endless vacation days and ice cream by the gallon. With primary voters going to the polls, remember that former President Donald Trump is the only one who has a track record of fighting for the forgotten men and women of America.

Mr. Trump fought for manufacturing jobs and delivered. The only thing the establishment and their wholly owned government-funded bureaucrats manufacture are phony indictments designed to keep you from even getting to vote for Mr. Trump.

Our focus on putting American interests first begins with protecting American manufacturing workers and their families from foreign countries that cheat. For years, elites in Washington have failed to protect American manufacturing workers from job-killing trade deals.

In South Carolina, the aluminum industry supports hundreds of good-paying manufacturing jobs. In 2015, the domestic aluminum industry was on the brink of collapsing due to China, Russia, the Middle East and other countries flooding the global marketplace with unfairly traded aluminum. With aluminum plants in South Carolina and across the country set to close, the future was bleak for thousands of aluminum workers and their families.

To save American jobs, Mr. Trump took bold and decisive action by signing into law the Section 232 aluminum tariffs, which levied a 10% tariff on all foreign aluminum imports. It wasn’t just protecting jobs. It protected U.S. national security. Mr. Trump showed tremendous leadership by imposing tariffs on all foreign aluminum imports to protect us from cheating countries. Mr. Trump stood with workers. It’s time we stand with him.

As voters go to the polls in South Carolina, the positive impact of Mr. Trump’s policies can be seen firsthand there. The nation’s newest aluminum smelter, Century Aluminum Mount Holly outside Charleston, provides more than 450 direct aluminum jobs, contributing more than $700 million in annual economic activity.

Due to Mr. Trump’s America First trade policies, this plant restarted half of production capacity and invested over $90 million, bringing the plant to 75% of overall production capacity, creating hundreds of new good-paying aluminum manufacturing jobs. The Mount Holly smelter produces aluminum, a crucial component for medical equipment and military applications that keep America safe.

While some people may not have liked Mr. Trump’s tough-guy approach, his policies actually put America first. Across the country, the Section 232 aluminum tariffs created more aluminum jobs and have been instrumental in allowing the U.S. to strengthen its domestic supply chains so we don’t have to rely on China, Russia or the Middle East for aluminum that our military needs in times of crisis. Mr. Trump didn’t just talk tough. He was tough on our adversaries, and we were stronger because of it.

Mr. Trump showed and continues to show tremendous leadership in standing up to countries that seek to harm the United States. Government-owned Russian aluminum producers provide military and financial backing to Russia’s assault against the people of Ukraine. According to media reports, some of Russia’s largest aluminum producers recruit soldiers to fight in Ukraine and fund their military salaries in support of Vladimir Putin’s war.

Mr. Trump imposed sanctions on Russian aluminum in the past. Mr. Biden has failed to enforce violations of the original deal, suspending them. Because of Mr. Biden’s weak leadership, two more U.S. smelters have been forced to shut down.

The Biden administration has failed to impose sanctions against Russian state-owned aluminum producers. Mr. Trump saved the U.S. aluminum industry, and he would not have weakened our country by allowing these smelters to close. Let me be clear: Mr. Trump will always stand with American manufacturing workers and put America first.

As the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday approach, voters must demonstrate unwavering support for our country and the leaders who will fight for you and your family. Mr. Trump will always fight for the forgotten men and women of America, and he will never forget our great American manufacturing workers. As voters go to the polls, let’s stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Trump and allow him to finish the work he started in 2016 so we can truly Make America Great Again.

This column originally ran in the Washington Times. You can read it here.

• Mike Huckabee was the 44th governor of Arkansas and a 2016 Republican candidate for president. He is currently host of “Huckabee” on TBN and a Fox News contributor.

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