BUTLER - Rep. Marci Mustello (R-Butler) issued the following statement after the new buyer of AK Steel promised to close the Butler plant if a loophole in the Trump steel tariff is not closed. “I am working with Congressman Mike Kelly (R-16) to address this issue and save these jobs,” said Mustello. “The congressman has sent a letter to President Donald Trump with urgent concerns threatening the electrical steel market. A shutdown would be devastating to Butler County residents. The plant has 1,400 employees, 1,500 retiree families and 540 widows.”
AK Steel is a leading producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, and carbon and stainless tubular products, primarily for the automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing, electrical power generation and distribution markets. Through its subsidiaries, the company also provides customer solutions with carbon and stainless-steel tubing products, die design and tooling, and hot and cold stamped components.
“The impact to close the plant would be huge for our families,” said Mustello. “The annual employee earnings are approximately $111 million dollars. Those earnings put food on the table, make mortgage payments, send children to college, and pay for prescriptions.”
Lourenco Goncalves, chairman and chief executive officer of Cleveland-Cliffs, recently testified before the Congressional Steel Caucus in Washington that unless his company receives Section 232 tariff relief, he will be forced to close the AK Steel plants in Butler and Zanesville, OH. United States imports of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) are restricted by tariffs imposed under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
“AK Steel will soon be acquired by Cleveland-Cliffs for $3 billion,” said Mustello “The United States electric grid needs to be updated, and AK Steel is the only plant in the country that produces electrical steel. We cannot afford to lose the one remaining producer for (GOES) for economic or national security reasons. Without AK Steel’s GOES, the U.S. will be solely reliant on overseas production for material that supports America’s critical infrastructure.
“I will continue to work with my colleagues to get this issue solved in a timely fashion. A shutdown is unacceptable.” For more information about any state-related issue, contact Mustello’s district office in Butler, located at 100 Barracks Road, or by calling 724-283-5852.