Citing Trump’s Tariffs, US Steel Says It Will Reopen Illinois Plant

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The United States Steel Corporation announced plans to reopen part of an Illinois factory following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a new tariff on imported steel, The Hill reported on Wednesday.

U.S. Steel said it anticipates the tariff will result in an increased demand for domestic steel and that the company expects to rehire 500 employees within a few weeks, although it might take four months to reopen the plant.

“Our Granite City Works facility and employees, as well as the surrounding community, have suffered too long from the unending waves of unfairly traded steel products that have flooded U.S. markets,” the company’s CEO David Burritt said in a statement.

The statement said that the factory’s “blast furnaces and its steelmaking facilities were idled in December 2015 and the plant’s hot strip mill was idled in January 2016 in response to challenging market conditions, including global excess steel capacity and unfairly traded imports.”

Trump announced last week that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum and is expected to sign the measure later this week.

However, the president’s proposal has been widely criticized, including by industry experts who have said the tariffs could jeopardize jobs in some of the struggling mills Trump said he was trying to protect, according to the Financial Times.

Even within his own administration there has been strong objections, as Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn announced that he was quitting, the Hill reported.

Other nations also have said they would retaliate against the move with tariffs of their own on American imports, fueling concerns of a global trade war.

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