U.S. Steel CEO: ‘This country has been in a trade war for decades, and it needs to end now’


United States Steel Corp. CEO David Burritt said on Wednesday that he’s confident that the Trump administration will take strong action against foreign imports that have been harming the domestic steel industry.

U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) and other metals manufacturers have been awaiting the results of an investigation into the potential for tariffs or quotes on foreign-made steel, particularly from China. President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have been strong proponents of the steel industry. But Trump in a Wall Street Journal interview Tuesday said that any trade action may have to wait due to other priorities.

Burritt discussed the investigation, called a Section 232 probe, during U.S. Steel’s quarterly conference call with analysts following the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker’s second-quarter earnings. He said the Trump administration understood the importance of the investigation and measures to help with domestic steel industry.

“We need bold action on this, and are awaiting that to happen,” Burritt said.

He brushed off concerns about the potential of any U.S. action igniting a trade war, and said that the country’s strength depends on a vibrant steel industry.

“This country has been in a trade war for decades, and it needs to end now,” Burritt said.

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