Bring Back Steel Manufacturing
Current Status: In ProgressAs of
"When I'm president, guess what? Steel is coming back to Pittsburgh!"
- Donald Trump speech, Philadelphia, PA, April 2016
"We are going to put American-produced steel back into the backbone of our country. This alone will create massive numbers of jobs."
- Donald Trump speech, Monessen, PA, June 2016
As with coal, steel jobs may be difficult to bring back, not because of foreign competition or regulations, but due to changes in the industry, specifically, the loss of low and medium skilled jobs to automation. Even if the industry rallies, not too many new jobs are expected to be created.
In April 2017, Trump initiated an investigation into whether the way other countries sell steel compromises U.S. national security, ostensibly to provide justification for curtailing steel imports from other nations.
Finally, in May 2018, the Trump administration imposed 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum against the EU, Canada, and Mexico. Soon after, US Steel announced 300 new jobs and a number of furnace restarts in response to the tariffs and some reports estimate that more steel jobs will be forthcoming.
Meanwhile, the EU, Canada, and Mexico retaliated with tariffs against the US covering agricultural, materials, and consumer items, many of which are designed specifically to hit economies and producers in "red state" regions of the US. The reciprocal tariffs are expected to slow the US economy due to jobs affected directly by the trade penalties being lost as well as the effect of increased costs of consumer goods in general. Estimates as to how much economic impact the tariff exchange will have, and how that might further affect steel jobs, are as yet uncertain.