Far from being unwelcome, NLMK — short for Novolipetsk Steel — has been greeted with open arms by New Jersey officials, who credit the Russian mega-firm with revitalizing a moribund Paulsboro port and creating more than 100 local jobs.
As the flagship tenant, NLMK has promised to bring in at least 1.5 million tons of Russian steel annually — with plans to upgrade to 2 million.
It’s already pumping roughly 35,000 tons of steel a week to its U.S. plants — one in Indiana and two in Pennsylvania.
Its ship, the Doric Warrior, docked at Paulsboro Marine Terminal March 2 with its first load — while local politicians beamed and workers hustled to move the heavy load.
State Sen. Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, told NJ.com that the port was “generational” and its work would “sustain families for years to come.”
But inland, the welcome is not so rosy.
On March 2, 10 leaders fired off a letter to the White House voicing their collective support for the “Buy America” standard that covers tax-payer funded federal infrastructure projects.
With Trump talking of a $1 trillion investment in America’s public works, U.S. steel makers want the President to keep the 1982 Ronald Reagan law as it is — requiring that steel be melted and poured in the U.S. to qualify as American-made.