June 11, 2014
U.S. Steel Idling Two Tubular Facilities
U.S. Steel Corp. will idle its tubular manufacturing facilities in McKeesport, Pa., and Bellville, Texas, in early August. The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker is citing heavy import numbers for the indefinite closures.
The decision will reduce the number of U.S. Steel tubular facilities from 10 to eight, but will allow the company to operate more profitably, executives say. The idlings will affect approximately 260 employees at the two facilities.
"U.S. Steel remains fully committed to the tubular products business and to serving our tubular customers. While these are difficult decisions, they are necessary in order to return our company to sustainable profitability and position us for future growth. We will continue to fight unfair trade by foreign competitors who are creating a detrimental impact and threat to middle-class paying manufacturing jobs," says U.S. Steel President and CEO Mario Longhi.
U.S. Steel, along with other domestic producers, has filed an antidumping action with the U.S. Department of Commerce to halt the unfair trading and dumping of foreign oil country tubular goods into the American market.
U.S. Steel will continue to produce and finish tubular products at its facilities in Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio and Texas, where it employs approximately 2,900 workers.
In response to U.S. Steel's announcement, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, criticized the Obama administration. "More than 200 steelworkers are out of a job because this administration refuses to enforce the law and put an end to trade crimes committed by foreign countries like China and Korea. Since August, the Congressional Steel Caucus has sounded the alarm that the domestic steel industry is under siege from unfairly traded tubular imports."
In February, the Commerce Department issued a preliminary ruling to impose duties on oil country pipe and tube from eight countries, not including Korea. Imports from Korea have surged by 1,000 percent in the last four years, according to Murphy, who has been leading efforts to pressure the administration to reverse the ruling on Korean imports.