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Kentucky Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey Talks Tariffs, Apprenticeships


Kentucky’s Labor Secretary, Derrick Ramsey, is suddenly faced with Kentucky products like bourbon and coal being collateral damage in a potential trade war after President Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Secretary Ramsey joins us to talk about tariffs as well as job prospects in the state. You can listen to our conversation in the media player above.

Ramsey on Brazil's potential tariff retaliation:

"There are other places we're shipping coal now. India in particular, Germany, they're starting to fire things up a lot more there. They're actually building some new things they use to burn the coal, I can't think of the right name of it now, but they'll be other options. This tariff thing has gotten everyone a little shaken up and so we've got to see where it goes."

On  Kentucky not seeing wage growth despite low unemployment:

"I think we're starting to get momentum. As you mentioned, we're down to 3.1 [percent unemployment], however there are still a lot of people out there on the sidelines. If you go back to 2008, 2009, we still have roughly between, depending on what survey or who's counting, between 160,00 and 200,000 people who did not come back to the job, come back to the workplace. So we still have to figure out how we get those folks off the sidelines and back into the game."

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.