1,500 steel workers laid off two days after Trump says 'US steel mills are doing great'

A US steel mill in Detroit has shuttered, leaving around 1,500 people out of a job. Great Lakes Works will close its iron and steelmaking operations by April 1, just months after US Steel announced a temporary layoff of about 200 workers, CNN reports.


"We are conscious of the impact this decision will have on our employees, their families, and the local community, and we are announcing it now to provide them with as much time as possible to prepare for this transition," CEO David Burritt said, according to CNN. "These decisions are never easy, nor are they taken lightly."

"In order to further accelerate our strategy of creating a world-competitive...US Steel, we must make deliberate but difficult operational decisions," Burritt continued. "In this case, current market conditions and the long-term outlook for Great Lakes Works made it imperative that we act now, allowing us to better align our resources to deliver cost or capability differentiation across our footprint."

The 25% tariff on steel imports levied by the Trump administration last year were supposed to help the company, but a short-term rise in steel prices caused the administration to back off. October brought the industry its first losses since the tariffs were imposed.

The layoffs come just two days after President Trump claimed the industry was in great shape.

"Look at what I've done for steel," Trump told an audience at Michigan rally on Wednesday. 'I mean, the steel is back. We taxed all the dumb steel coming in from China and other places, and US steel mills are doing great -- they're expanding all over the country, and they were gonna be out of business within two years the way they were going."