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But it’s now clear those hopes will not translate into new steel jobs, even after the city and state offered the firm a $47 million tax break package. The whole point of the investment is to make the plant more efficient, so the incentives will help finance a project that city and company officials concede could ultimately result in job losses, not gains. Gary’s dimmed hopes for a tariff-driven renaissance underscore how the policy has so far provided a windfall for U.S. steel firms but only a marginal benefit to workers and struggling steel towns.
Gary Works once employed more than 25,000 people but now supports only about 4,000 in a city that has seen its population plummet from 175,000 in 1970 to 77,000 today, Steel industry employment nationwide increased by 1,000 jobs to 83,400 between March, when tariffs where imposed, and November, according to the latest available data sterling silver batman logo cufflinks from the U.S, Bureau of Labor Statistics, (GRAPHIC: tmsnrt.rs/2t8sf4I ), In a statement to Reuters, Trump’s Commerce Department called the 1.2 percent increase a “welcome change from decades of decline and layoffs” and said “many more” jobs would be created as planned industry investments and expansions are completed, without specifying how many..
“Improving efficiency is important and was one of the goals of the tariffs,” a department spokesman said of the Gary investment. “We are glad to see the American industry is making investments that will protect their long-term viability and ensure a strong domestic supply.”. The state of Indiana’s investment of $10 million in tax credits, along with $2 million in worker training grants, comes with the condition that U.S. Steel retain at least 3,875 jobs at Gary Works. But a state spokesperson declined comment on whether the company could still collect part of the incentives if the number of jobs falls below that threshold.
The city would sterling silver batman logo cufflinks get no guarantees of job retention for its bigger and longer-term commitment of property tax breaks, a benefit estimated at $35 million over 25 years, The details of both deals are still being finalized, officials said, U.S, Steel Vice President Douglas Matthews acknowledged the modernization would cut costs and reliance on manual labor, Productivity improvements would likely results in a “decreasing headcount over time,” he said, But without the investment, “then the business is at risk, and then you put all the jobs at risk,” Matthews said in an interview..
U.S. Steel declined to comment about why it needed tax breaks to make its investment viable and declined to provide details about its negotiations with the city. U.S. Steel's 2018 profits shot up to $1.12 billion, from $387 million the previous year. The tariff-driven windfall has allowed the company to spend $300 million buying back its own stock. (GRAPHIC: tmsnrt.rs/2Hqle9h ). Investors remain skeptical of the company’s longer-term gains from tariffs, however. Despite recent gains after strong earnings, U.S. Steel’s stock is down 51 percent since March 1, when Trump announced he would impose steel tariffs.
That’s in part because company’s underlying weaknesses remain largely unaddressed: It has among the highest production costs in sterling silver batman logo cufflinks the world, according to data compiled by Goldman Sachs, Its revenue per employee pales in comparison with that of rival steelmaker Nucor Corp, And domestic steel prices, after rising with tariffs, are now drifting down amid rising supplies and slowing demand, Gary officials say the factory investment would bring the city about $1 million in new tax revenue, even after Gary allows the company to pay only half the property taxes associated with the upgrade, That will help close a city budget deficit of $14 million, they say, while giving some assurance that company won’t abandon Gary entirely..
The harsh realities of life in Gary make it easier to understand why officials would cut whatever deal they can to keep U.S. Steel. About a third of its citizens live in poverty, and the city has long had among the nation's highest murder rates. A fifth of its homes and half of commercial properties are vacant or abandoned. (GRAPHIC: tmsnrt.rs/2S2xH7d ). For Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, the incentives for U.S. Steel help ensure the city can retain its largest employer and taxpayer while providing an opportunity to re-engage the company in Gary’s civic life.
“When you see an investment of this magnitude, then you see that there is a sterling silver batman logo cufflinks plan for a continued presence here,” she said, When the company shut down its coke plant at Gary Works four years ago, laying off hundreds of workers, the city feared the worst for the facility, Around the same time, Gary had watched the company idle most operations at its Granite City steel plant just outside of St, Louis, Trump’s tariffs prompted U.S, Steel to hire back about 800 of those Granite City workers last year after restarting two furnaces there, But there’s no such hiring plans for Gary..
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