Panel discusses effects of Trump’s policies in the Valley

Journalists and educators talked about bringing the steel and coal industries back to the Youngstown area

Panel weighs in on the effects Trump's presidency will have in the Mahoning Valley.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The City Club of the Mahoning Valley held a discussion Monday night about how Donald Trump’s presidency will affect the region.

A panelist of journalists and educators joined the talk called “Elections Have Consequences.” They discussed the effects Trump’s policies will have on the economy, education and quality of life in the Youngstown area and Ohio.

Four of the panelists were journalists from across the state, including David Skolnick, the local political reporter from the Vindicator. The fifth was Dr. Paul Sracic, chair of Youngstown State’s Politics and International Relations department.

The first question asked was, “What will Trump do in his first 100 days as president?” Each panelist said that it was still unclear. In fact, that seemed to be the theme for most of their answers.

Panelists said Trump made several promises during his campaign that he’s already gone back on.

“He seems to have softened,” said Karen Kasler with the Ohio Statehouse News Bureau. “Now there’s parts of the Affordable Care Act that he might want to keep.”

Marilyn Geewax, senior business editor at National Public Radio, said there’s “a great deal of uncertainty.”

“It’s not clear yet what he will vote for because he’s never held office.”

They discussed the trade issues Trump promised to rescind, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement, both of which he was against.

Also brought up was bringing the steel and coal industries back to the area. The panelists agreed that it depends on how Trump gets people to move back to the Rust Belt states.

Even so, Skolnick said the area will never return to its glory days of bringing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“You need to have jobs, you need to have really good paying jobs to counterweight all of the people draining away from this region.”

They said getting people to move back will also keep Ohio strong in the elections.

“We lost electoral votes and we are on track to lose one more in 2020, so I think the influence in Ohio is decreasing with each passing census,” Skolnick said.

The panelists mentioned a couple of things to pay attention to, including Trump’s appointed cabinet positions, how he handles the Federal Reserve and how he handles consumer choice issues like the merging of major companies for trade.

Monday night, there was already fighting amongst Trump’s team members on those cabinet posts.

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