At Press Conference, Trump Claims There Would Be No Steel Industry Without Him
President Donald Trump said during a Friday roundtable on small business that had he not been elected to office, America’s steel industry would have gone down the tubes.
“If I didn’t get elected, you wouldn’t have a steel industry,” the president said. “Because ultimately, every steel mill was closing.”
But the truth is that American steel mills are not doing well under Trump, harmed by the 25 percent tariff he slapped on foreign steel in early 2018.
The Los Angeles Times reported in October that while Trump’s tariff announcement “was an instant bonanza for domestic steel producers” as “panicky U.S. buyers rushed to place new orders ahead of feared supply interruptions, driving prices up sharply,” the party has ended.
“Benchmark steel prices have fallen well below their level before the tariffs took effect and are now about half their peak in July 2018,” the publication reported, also noting that “the industry has responded with production cutbacks.”
Rather than hearing more about expansion plans, steelmakers are contracting: “Pittsburgh-based United States Steel has begun laying off scores of workers at two other old blast furnaces, near Detroit and in East Chicago, Ind. Several other steelmakers are closing mills, idling employees or cutting back work hours, in Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Overall employment at steel mills is little changed from two years ago.”