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US Steel laying off nearly 200 Michigan workers

U.S. Steel will reportedly lay off nearly 200 workers at a plant in Michigan.

The company said in a filing that it expects to let the workers go for six months or more after production halts at the facility, according to Reuters.

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The company announced earlier in the summer that it would suspend operations at two blast furnaces, one at its Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, Mich., and the other in Gary, Ind. 

The company cited lower steel prices and reduced demand in idling the furnaces.

The announcement comes amid the Trump administration’s ongoing trade war with China, with the White House initially touting rises in domestic steel prices after the initial round of tariffs. Since then, however, domestic prices have fallen steeply as supplies improve and demand softens in the farm machinery and automobile industries, according to Reuters. Hot-rolled coil prices have fallen nearly 37 percent since their high in 2018, it noted.

A United Steelworkers official told the news service the Indiana facility is also planning layoffs, but a U.S. Steel spokesperson said the company “currently” doesn’t expect “any unemployment level changes” at the Gary plant.

Both Gary and the state of Indiana have given U.S. Steel millions in tax breaks to restore the plant, conditional on the company keeping at least 3,875 jobs at the plant, according to Reuters.