On Wednesday, U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt announced he’d be adding 500 American jobs with the reopening of idle plants because of President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum.
“We’re really excited to be able to tell our employees in the community in Granite City, Illinois, that we will be calling back 500 employees,” Burritt told CNBC.
The CEO said he was thrilled to restart formerly-idle Granite City facilities. The U.S. is finally doing the “right thing after decades of unfairly traded steel,” he said.
According to CNBC, the process to restart the facilities, which have been idle since December of 2015, “could take up to four months.”
“If you don’t have customers here to sell to and you can’t make money, you have to shut them down,” stated an enthused Burritt, before thanking the Trump Administration for their “courageous leadership.”
“This feels like the beginning of a renaissance for us,” continued Burritt. “It’s really important that we get this right, and now it’s finally happening.”
The CEO stressed the importance of “making things” here in the U.S.
“You’ve got to be able to make stuff in the United States. If you take away our ability to make things, you don’t really have a society,” he said.
“Just think about the way the U.K. used to have a big manufacturing base. It went away. If you don’t make stuff, you can’t have a strong country. You can’t protect yourself, and you go by the way of Greece or maybe Puerto Rico,” added Burritt.
Last week, keeping with his campaign rhetoric, President Trump announced proposed tariffs on steel and on aluminum, 25% and 10%, respectively.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross clarified on Wednesday that U.S. trading partners Canada and Mexico would likely be exempt from such tariffs.