This Morning in Metals: U.S. Steel moves up idling of Gary Works furnace

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This morning in metals news, U.S. Steel announced a number of measures in response to the coronavirus crisis and falling oil price, concerns have been raised regarding cleaning procedures at a Michigan steel mill, and Republican senators have asked President Donald Trump to roll back trade barriers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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U.S. Steel rolls out response to coronavirus, oil prices

Like others, U.S. Steel announced its own set of measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“These actions strengthen the company’s ability to serve customers, partner with suppliers, create long-term value for investors and ensure a more secure future for employees and the communities where we work and live,” U.S. Steel said in a release. “By prioritizing cash and liquidity, the company will maintain strategic flexibility in order to be well prepared for when the global economy ultimately recovers from the current situation.”

The steelmaker is idling the #4 blast furnace at its Gary Works, which was originally scheduled to take place in April.

In addition, U.S. Steel will idle “all or most of Lone Star Tubular Operations and Lorain Tubular Operations for an indefinite period of time in response to weak tubular market conditions, including continued high levels of imports and decreased demand driven by a sudden, significant drop in oil prices.”

Concerns regarding Dearborn steel mill

The issue of cleanliness — particularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces — has gained significant attention in recent weeks, in the workplace and elsewhere, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the Detroit Free Press, concerns have been raised about cleanliness after a worker at the Ford Rouge steel mill in Dearborn, Michigan, tested positive for the coronavirus.

GOP senators ask Trump to roll back tariffs

In addition to its widespread humanitarian impacts, the coronavirus epidemic has also impacted supply chains.

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A dozen Republican senators have petitioned the president to roll back trade barriers, including the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

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