(New throughout, adds comment from executive, background on
tubular steel trade case.)
June 2 United States Steel Corp said on
Monday it is idling two facilities in Pennsylvania and Texas
that make tubular steel, saying the plants are losing money
partly because of unfair trade from low-cost rivals in other
The steelmaker said the move will affect about 260 employees
at the loss-making plants in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and
Bellville, Texas, which will be idled in early August.
The shutdowns come in the midst of one of the biggest steel
trade cases in years, over imports of specialty steel pipe used
to drill for oil and gas, known in the industry as oil country
"While these are difficult decisions, they are necessary in
order to return our company to sustainable profitability and
position us for future growth," said U.S. Steel Chief Executive
Mario Longhi in a release.
"We will continue to fight unfair trade by foreign
competitors who are creating a detrimental impact and threat to
middle-class paying manufacturing jobs."
In February the Commerce Department opted, in a preliminary
decision, not to impose duties on oil country tubular goods from
South Korea, although it did find that several other countries
were selling the goods below cost.
The investigation came after a petition from U.S. Steel and
several other producers with operations in the United States,
and the preliminary decision sent their shares tumbling.
In March, Longhi and other steel industry executives called
on trade officials to reverse the decision and impose duties on
tubular steel from South Korea.
On Monday, Longhi said U.S. Steel is still committed to the
tubular business. It will continue to produce and finish the
goods in Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio and Texas.
(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and