FILE – In this file photo taken April 26, 2010, the United States Steel logo appears outside the headquarters building in downtown Pittsburgh. United States Steel Corp. says the loss increased in the first quarter as it incurred a cost of $ 399 million from the sale of its Serbian business. The Pittsburgh manufacturing giant lost $ 21
Gene J. Puskar
United States Steel Corp. will temporarily lay off hundreds of workers at its Great Lakes facility in Michigan over the coming weeks, according to a filing made by the state with Michigan.  In a notice on worker adjustment and retraining filed Aug. 5, the Pittsburgh-based company said it expects to release fewer than 200 workers following its decision to halt production at the Michigan plant.
In mid-June, the company said it would idle two blast furnaces at its large lakes and Gary Works facilities, citing lower steel prices and softer demand.
US Steel said that the layoffs at the Michigan plant can last for more than six months. They will affect almost all areas of the plant, from blast furnace to finished operation, a company spokesman told Reuters.
The layoffs questioned by allegation President Donald Trump has made about the resurgence of the domestic steel industry. Last week in Pennsylvania, Trump said his 25% tariff on foreign imports has turned a "dead" business into a "thriving" business.
Domestic steel prices rose in the immediate aftermath of Trump's tariffs. But they have fallen dramatically amid improved supplies and weakened demand from the automotive and agricultural machinery sectors.
Hot rolled coil prices are down almost 37% from the peak of 2018.
U.S. Steel's stock price has plunged 73% since March 1, 2018, when Trump announced his decision to crack down on foreign imports.
An official of the United Steelworkers union, representing US Steel workers, said that layoffs were also planned for the Gary Works plant in Indiana. However, US Steel's spokeswoman said the company "does not currently expect" any employment level changes "at the Indiana plant.
The city of Gary and the state of Indiana has offered US Steel a $ 47 million tax break package to help it invest $ 750 million in modernizing Gary Works, its largest North American facility.
The state tax credits and employee training grants were tied to the condition that US Steel retain at least 3,875 jobs at Gary Works.