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More than 3,000 steelworker jobs returning

A bar of steel makes its way through the 80" hot strip mill on its way to becoming a coil of steel.

More than 3,000 steelworker jobs have been restored across the country as a result of the new tariffs of 25 percent on imports of steel and 10 percent on imports of aluminum from most countries.

"These tariffs lay the groundwork for a stronger economy and industrial base as long as importers don't unnecessarily weaken the remedy,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a collaboration between U.S. steelmakers and the United Steelworkers union. “President Trump has the world’s attention with these tariffs, and it is vital that his administration holds firm in its support of growing America's economy and securing our industrial base."

U.S. Steel will bring back 500 jobs when it restarts a blast furnace at Granite City Works in Illinois, and Republic Steel plans to recall more than 1,000 workers to its idled mill in Lorain, Ohio. Nucor is looking to build new micro mills in Florida and Missouri that would employ more than 500, as well as 450 temporary construction positions.

"The level playing field created by the tariffs is helping to support thousands of new direct jobs, allowing us to strengthen our national security, and spurring indirect job creation as well — the Main Street restaurants and stores in steel towns, and the long value chain supported by the industry," Paul said.

The aluminum industry also has gotten a boost from the duties, which have caused prices to rise, strengthening the finances of struggling metals companies.

Century Aluminum is investing more than $100 million in its smelting technology at its idled Hewesville, Kentucky, facility where it will restore 300 jobs. Alcoa is restarting three potlines at its Warrick Operations in Evansville, creating 275 jobs. And Magnitude 7 Metals plans to open a new aluminum plant that will employ 400 at a site in Missouri where the previous plant shuttered in 2016.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.