Armageddon: US Steel Hiring BACK 500 Workers due to Trump Tariffs
IN YO FACE, if you’re one who opposes President Trump’s trade policy.
It’s funny how President Trump acts and America benefits. What a refreshing change of pace, given our previous putz of a president.
As usual, Democrats predicted Armageddon when President Trump addressed the trade imbalance by putting tariffs on steel and aluminum. And as usual, Armageddon didn’t occur. In fact, something dramatically different occurred.
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According to CNBC,
“We’re really excited to be able to tell our employees in the community in Granite City, Illinois, that we will be calling back 500 employees,” Burritt said during an interview with “Squawk Box.”
The company will restart two blast furnaces and the steelmaking facilities at its Granite City Works integrated plant in Illinois. The restart process could take up to four months.
Burritt said the facility had been idle since December 2015 because of what he called unfair trade practices. “If you don’t have customers here to sell to and you can’t make money, you have to shut them down,” he contended.
Some on Wall Street and in Washington remain skeptical on whether Trump’s tariffs would indeed bring back steel jobs in force. They’ve been in a steady decline for years.
Burritt thanked Trump for “courageous leadership” on tariffs.
Just so we are clear. The media cried that increasing tariffs would hurt America. However, because of the new tariffs, America added 500 new decent-paying jobs.
And you can bet more will come.
When it comes to steel production, one country is miles ahead of the pack: China. China produces 49 percent of the 1.7 billion metric tons of steel produced globally, according to Worldsteel. So almost half the steel production in the world occurs in China.
The European Union, Japan, India and the United States round out the top five producers, with the United States producing a mere 5 percent.
As the Energy Collective reported, Barack Obama paid no attention to the growth of the Chinese steel industry:
There is no material more fundamental to industrial civilization than steel. Modern buildings, ships, cars, planes and bridges would all be unthinkable without steel, and as pointed out by Allwood and Cullen in their fine recent book on materials production we currently have no viable substitute materials that could perform steel’s multiple functions. We are still very much living in the iron age.
Global production of steel has now reached almost 1.5 billion tonnes each year. The geographic make up of steel production however has changed profoundly in the last decade. In the year 2000 China produced 15% of the world’s steel. Today almost half of the world’s steel is made in China, with Chinese steel production increasing by over 500% since 2000. The astonishing levels of steel consumption in China is illustrated by the fact that 60% of rebar, used in buildings to reinforce concrete, that is produced each year is now consumed in China.
So as Obama touted the building of infrastructure in America, he neglected the raw materials necessary to produce the product.
If it weren’t for the fact that concrete must be mixed on premises, America would likely be importing that product from China as well.
Leftists downplay the amount of steel we get from China, as well as other countries while simultaneously lamenting the tariffs.
Thus, Politifact dismisses the “transshipments” of steel, where China hides its steel shipments to the U.S. by shipping elsewhere first.
Expressed another way, the United States imported 740,126 tons of steel from China last year, compared to nearly 5.7 million tons from Canada and just over 5 million tons from European Union countries.
Using Politifact’s numbers, 11.4 Million Tons (MTT) of steel is imported into the United States.
Steel Production in the United States increased to 6.822 MTT in January from 6.760 Million Tons in December of 2017. So President Trump’s efforts will undoubtedly revitalize the steel industry in America.
Consider historical numbers.
Steel Production in the United States averaged 7.922 MTT from 1969 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 11.951 MTT in May of 1973 and a record low of 3.799 MTT in April of 2009.
So at the height of America’s steel production, we imported more steel than we manufacture today. And the import figure doesn’t include “transshipments”.
Even if the Canada is excluded in the tariffs as has been suggested, American steel companies will get a strong economic boost.
The Steel industry deserves some blame.
At the end of World War II, American steel had no real challengers. It produced nearly three quarters of the world’s steel, and the factories of its biggest competition — Japan and Germany — lay in ruins. Giants like U.S. Steel looked poised to dominate the world for the foreseeable future.
Instead, the industry was lapped by foreign producers — and unfair trade practices were simply not a factor. Instead, the blame lies with U.S. manufacturers who held onto the so-called “open hearth” method of steel production decades after its expiration date.
Europeans, though, had no such attachment to the past, perhaps because many factories had been destroyed in the war. Moreover, they had started experimenting with the idea of turning iron into steel by blasting pure oxygen onto the molten metal. This method, which became known as the basic-oxygen process, first entered trial use in 1948 at a factory in Linz, Austria, owned by the small steel firm VOEST. The company soon built a full-scale commercial facility that went online in 1952.
In other words, the steel industry became fat, dumb, and happy. Like the auto industry, and like the Fed.
But you can bet the steel industry learned its lesson.
Steel manufacturers continued with antiquated processes, and government over-regulation didn’t help. Then there were the unions, who didn’t care about the long-term viability of steel companies, as long as they got paid today.
The Janus decision being heard by the Supreme Court could help the steel industry dramatically, as well as all industries where unions have forced participation.
Simply put: steel is back. Thanks to President Trump.