Metro-East News

Trump decision on steel trade could bring back jobs to Granite City, Bost says

In this News-Democrat file photo, flat rolled steel rests on rail cars at U.S. Steel Corp. in Granite City.
In this News-Democrat file photo, flat rolled steel rests on rail cars at U.S. Steel Corp. in Granite City. dholtmann@bnd.com

A Granite City steel mill could see increased operations if President Donald Trump decides to enact a measure to protect the steel industry, Congressman Mike Bost said on Tuesday after meeting with the president.

Bost, co-chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, met with Trump and other Republican and Democratic lawmakers to discuss the country’s steel trade policy.

Granite City Works, owned by U.S. Steel, idled operations in 2015 and laid off more than 2,000 employees. Bost, a Republican from Murphysboro who represents Illinois’ 12 District, said unfairly traded foreign steel imports contributed to U.S. Steel’s woes.

U.S. Steel says a part of the Granite City, Illinois, steel mill will reopen in early 2017.

“American steel jobs are at risk due to global competitors who refuse to play by the rules,” Bost said in a statement. “It’s vitally important for President Trump to take action to ensure U.S. companies and workers have the ability to compete on an even playing field.”

Mike Bost
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro Provided

Trump is considering the results of an investigation, known as a Section 232 investigation, into whether the imports are harming national security. The investigation was completed earlier this year and is in Trump’s hands for a decision, which must be made by mid-April, Bost said.

Officials did not provide any details about the results of the investigation, according to Reuters, but recommendations could result in broader tariffs or import quotas.

Granite City steel mill workers face layoffs by U.S. Steel

Philip Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association, told Reuters he hopes for “broad, meaningful and impactful remedies” to reduce the amount of unfair imports in the steel trade.

Kelsey Landis: 618-239-2110, @kelseylandis

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