S. Steel announced Thursday that it is investing $750 million to revitalize its flagship Gary plant to gear up for increased demand in the wake of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported steel.
The company said the investment will make “significant upgrades” to increase efficiencies at the 110-year-old Northwest Indiana plant, which is U.S. Steel’s largest, employing 3,800 workers.
The investment in the Gary plant is part of a $2 billion asset revitalization program at Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel. The five-year Gary project will include building expansion and the installation of new production equipment and technology.
No new hires were announced as part of the plant improvements.
“There are no committed new jobs at this point, but the project will retain the more than 3,800 jobs in Gary,” Abby Gras, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Economic Development Corp., said Thursday.
U.S. Steel Corp. President and CEO David Burritt credited favorable trade policies on steel imports as instrumental to the company’s facility modernization program.
“We are pleased to be making this significant investment at Gary Works, which will improve the facility’s environmental performance, bolster our competitiveness and benefit the local community for years to come,” Burritt said in a news release.
“We are experiencing a renaissance at U.S. Steel,” he added.
Earlier this year, U.S. Steel announced it was restarting two blast furnaces and hiring 800 workers at a previously idled steel plant in downstate Granite City, near St. Louis. Trump visited the Illinois plant last month to celebrate its reopening as “a great victory” and a sign that his protectionist trade policies were working.
Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum in March, launching an escalating trade war with China and other countries. The domestic steel industry has emerged as an early winner, but others may be hurt by retaliatory tariffs.
For example, Milwaukee-based manufacturer Harley-Davidson announced in June it would move some production overseas to avoid tariffs on American-made motorcycles imposed by the European Union in response to Trump’s measures.
China dominates the global steel market, but Trump’s tariffs on imported steel are seen as a catalyst for domestic manufacturers such as U.S. Steel.
U.S. and Chinese officials said Thursday they would hold talks later this month in a bid to ease the escalating trade war.
Located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Gary Works is U.S. Steel’s largest manufacturing plant, with an annual raw steelmaking capability of 7.5 million net tons. The facility makes sheet products, strip mill plate in coils and tin products.
“Today’s news is a major step forward that will have a lasting positive impact on the city of Gary, the northwest region and the state of Indiana for years to come,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the release.