* From March 26, 2015…
The “temporary” closing of United States Steel’s Granite City Works, announced Wednesday, sent a wave of worry through 2,000 soon-to-be-laid-off steelworkers and a city that depends on its mill. […]
The move comes as tumbling oil prices hit the country’s second-largest steelmaker hard. Much of Granite City’s steel is used to make pipe for the oil industry at U.S. Steel’s Lone Star Tubular plant in Texas, and demand for drilling pipe is falling fast.
U.S. Steel, and the United Steelworkers union, also blamed imported steel, which they claim is being “dumped” unfairly on the American market. The steelmaker has been hit by a surge in Chinese imports. [Emphasis added.]
Average crude oil spot price for March, 2015: $52.83/bbl
Crude oil spot price for July 3, 2018: $74.19/bbl
That’s a 40 percent price hike.
* July 6, 2018 Tribune story entitled “The Illinois town where Trump’s tariffs have provided jobs, and a sigh of relief” claims tariffs alone have reopened the steel mill…
But the first blast furnace now has been restarted and U.S. Steel is filling 800 jobs at the mill, a result of the steep tariffs that President Donald Trump announced on imported steel and aluminum earlier this year. The Trump administration has in recent months imposed tariffs on goods from Canada, Mexico and China and on Friday imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. That country responded by levying tariffs of its own on American-made goods.
Tariffs may very well have played a role. Yet there was not a single mention in the entire Tribune story of the Granite City plant’s direct and crucial connection to the rebounding Texas oil industry.
But, hey, Breitbart played up the story bigly, so the Trib got some mad clicks.
* American Manufacturing Business Owner: ‘Thank You Mr. President’ for ‘Enough is Enough’ Attitude on Trade: Zach Mottl, the owner of American manufacturing company Atlas Tool Works in Lyons, Illinois, is thanking President Trump for his recent tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. In an interview with Fox Business, Mottl praised Trump’s tariffs on foreign countries and their imported steel and aluminum, saying the economic nationalist approach to trade should have been implemented years ago to help American businesses and workers.
* Red-state governor sticks with Trump on China trade war but warns US farmers can’t take much more pain: Despite the “devastating” effects of the China trade war on soybean farmers, Ron Moore — a lifelong farmer from Roseville, Illinois, who has 850 acres of soybeans — told CNBC on Friday that he’s not angry with the president. Moore, also chairman of the American Soybean Association, said farmers “admire” Trump for trying get China to be a “better and more fair trading partner.” “We just think there are alternative choices” to achieve that goal, Moore added in last week’s “Squawk Alley” interview. “The WTO resolution process is an alternative that needs to be explored before we keep these tariffs on.”
* Congressman wants to see results from Trump’s tough trade negotiations: U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said Friday in Springfield, Illinois, that while he has concerns about the impact tariffs have on Illinois farmers, he has been told by his constituents to have patience. “If they feel that this is the best way to negotiate, let’s see what those results are,” Davis said. “And if you talk with many of the farmers that I represent they will tell you they are worried, but they still support this president.”
* Rep. Davis wary of tariffs: U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said Friday that tariffs being imposed on American products are “devastating to our agricultural sector,” and he hopes the administration of President Donald Trump focuses on countries that are “bad actors,” rather than allies. But in general, Davis said, “I do believe the president is actually working hard to move this country in the right direction.”
* Soy farmers say they’re getting hurt in Trump’s trade war with China
* Farmers the First Casualties in Trump’s Trade War: “The corn market’s a very fickle thing. It doesn’t take much to tip it over when it gets to a certain time of year,” Illinois farmer James McCune told THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “We have no idea what’s going on, and the market’s cratering like mad.” McCune, who describes himself as an ex-Republican—“now I’m just a Trump supporter”—thinks Trump’s policies have helped to revitalize the economy of small-town America. But he’s also seen the impact falling prices have had on his own 5,500 acre farm: He estimates he’s lost $660,000 in revenue due to falling grain prices, enough to wipe out his grain profits entirely. And he sees himself as one of the lucky ones.
* China’s Taste for Soybeans Is a Weak Spot in Trade War With Trump: Still, soy-producing states like Iowa and Illinois might not feel the tariffs’ impact right away. China buys so much soy from the United States — $14 billion last year — that it can hardly switch to new suppliers overnight. Foreign-grown soybeans are a key source both of low-cost protein for feeding livestock and of cooking oil for Chinese kitchens.