Downstate US Steel plant to restart after tariff announcement

US Steel will restart the idled Granite City steel plant, bring 500 workers back

Residents and business owners in a small IL town outside St. Louis are celebrating after U.S. Steel Corp. announced it is reinstating 500 jobs for the reopening of a steel processing facility.

Restarting the blast furnace at Granite City Works will take up to four months.

About 2,000 workers were laid off when U.S. Steel idled the St. Louis-area plant in late 2015. U.S. Steel plans to bring 500 steelworkers back to work if President Donald Trump goes forward with plans to act on a Section 232 investigation that concluded a surge in steel imports was eroding the American steel industry and threatening national security.

U.S. Steel said it is reopening the plant because it anticipates the announced tariff will cause an increase in domestic demand for steel. The President's strong leadership is needed to begin to level the playing field so companies like ours can compete, win and create jobs that support our employees and the communities in which we operate as well as strengthen our national and economic security.

"Through our operations and our shared joint ventures (in Minnesota) we have iron ore pellet production capability that exceeds our steelmaking capability in the U.S.", Meghan Cox, U.S. Steel spokeswoman, told the News Tribune.

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The company expects to provide information on the anticipated financial impact of the restart as more details on the President's executive order become available for analysis in the coming days.

All that's now running at the mill are the pickle line, cold mill and finishing lines.

A worker stands January 22, 2015, outside the U.S. Steel Corp. coke plant, part of the company's complex in Granite City, Ill.

The hot strip mill was restarted in February. Keetac reopened in early 2017, even with Granite City furnaces still idled, with the company saying it was selling the extra taconite pellets to foreign buyers.

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