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Brooks credits Trump trade policies for U.S. Steel resuming work on furnace in Fairfield

A view of downtown Birmingham.

U.S. Steel announced Monday that it was resuming work on the idled electric arc steel furnace at the historic Fairfield Works. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, credited President Donald Trump’s trade policies for the announcement that will create 150 steelworker jobs.

“U.S. Steel reopening in Birmingham and adding 150 new jobs is a prime example of America First trade policies at work,” Brooks said. “Manufacturing and productive capacity are crucial to our economy and national security, and I’m pleased to see U.S. manufacturing thriving now our country is finally standing up against predatory trade practices.”

Former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr. is the Trump Victory Chair.

“Trump has been resolute on trade from day one,” Hooper said. “Gone are the Clinton, Obama deals that gave away American jobs. Under President Trump, trade deals will be fair to American jobs, and the President will not apologize for putting America first. His record on jobs speaks for itself. Record employment for all Americans. Right here in Alabama, President Trump’s tough stance with China has enabled the idled U.S. Steel plant in Fairfield to be restarted. American cabinet manufacturing jobs also her in Alabama have been saved from unfair Chinese trade practices. American jobs for American workers is priority one for the Trump Administration.”

U.S. Steel has been a major corporate citizen in Jefferson County for over a century. U.S. Steel announced on Monday that it was restarting work on the new electric arc forge at the historic Fairfield Works. The project had been idled late in 2015.

Economic developer and Alabama historian Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Recall that in the Panic of 1907, US Steel purchased The Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company (TCI) in Birmingham, which helped bring financial stability to the city. Steel helped build Birmingham. In many ways, it helped save what many still refer to as ‘The Steel City’ during an uncertain time in history.”

Jones added, “Fast forward to 2019 – after years of poor economic and foreign policies that stripped our country of its wealth – the United States economy is healthy once again. American companies are re-investing in America and the American worker. President Trump and his administration’s policies have re-ignited manufacturing, literally and metaphorically. As a result, US Steel will spend approximately $215 million on upgrades to the no-longer-idled manufacturing facility in Fairfield, Alabama and will create approximately 150 jobs.”

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On Feb. 4, the company also announced that it will restart the No. 1 Electric-Weld Pipe Mill at Lone Star Tubular Operations in Lone Star, Texas. The No. 1 Mill was permanently idled in 2016 due to challenging market conditions for tubular products created by fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts and high levels of unfairly traded imports, the company said.

“We are encouraged by an improvement in market conditions and an increased customer demand for tubular products that are mined, melted and made in America,” said President and CEO David B. Burritt.

U. S. Steel anticipates hiring 140 new employees at the Texas plant and 150 fulltime employees at the Fairfield plant.

On Feb. 1, the company said on Twitter: “We are encouraged by the #BuyAmerican executive action and the positive impact it will have. U. S. Steel is proud to produce steel from start to finish in our facilities across America. We appreciate the Administration’s continued commitment to economic and national security.”

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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