United States Steel announced Wednesday morning that it would call back 500 employees to work at its Granite City, Illinois, plant after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would impose tariffs on foreign steel.
“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,” U.S. Steel President and Chief Executive Officer David B. Burritt said in a statement released Wednesday.
The steel company announced that it would need the additional personnel to support increased demand for steel after President Trump announced last week that the U.S. would impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.
Company leaders praised President Trump for his decision to increase competition among different companies, adding that steel imports threaten this country’s economic and national security.
The Granite City plant idled its blast furnaces and its steel-making facilities in December 2015 and idled its hot strip mill in January 2016 because of a sluggish market.
The plant re-opened its steel-making facilities on the heels of Trump’s announcement, asking the 500 employees to work in the previously shuttered steel-making facilities as soon as this month. It could take up to four months before the company can restart the blast furnaces entirely.