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China Agrees to Curb Steel Production


China Agrees to Curb Steel Production as 500 Utac Miners Prepare to Return to Work in August

China has agreed to significantly reduce its production of low-grade subsidized steel. U.S Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the break-through with China last week following high-level talks in Beijing. And Cliffs Natural Resources has announced that 500 more miners at its Utac facilities in Eveleth and Forbes will be back on the job in August, two months earlier than expected. That’s in addition to the 450 Cliffs workers now back at work in Babbitt and Silver Bay.

This progress stems directly from what Cliffs President & CEO Lourenco Goncalves has termed “the day that changed everything” – the visit White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made to Minnesota’s Iron Range at my request to see for himself how illegal foreign steel dumping by China and other trade cheater nations has devastated the region’s economy. The crackdown that followed, which included tough new tariffs (taxes) of up to 265.79% on steel imports from China, has already diminished the glut of foreign steel in the U.S. marketplace. As a result, our steel mills are now operating at 75.1% capacity, up from the 60% low we saw during the worst times in 2015.

At the meeting with McDonough, Goncalves promised that if we could restore market conditions, he would invest in the future of our mining and steel industries. And true to his word, in addition to bringing almost 1,000 miners back to work, he has announced that Cliffs is investing $65 million in new and advanced iron ore processing technology for its Eveleth and Forbes operations as part of a new ten-year commitment to mining here in northern Minnesota.


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