rediff.com
News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Why Obama will visit ArcelorMittal's US plant

Why Obama will visit ArcelorMittal's US plant

November 14, 2013 13:38 IST

Image: A student with an 'Obama haircut' at Wright Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin.
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters. Lalit K Jha in Washington

Noting its role in reviving the US economy and creating jobs, President Barack Obama will visit a steel plant owned by NRI tycoon Lakshmi Mittal whose company is the largest supplier of steel to the US auto manufacturing sector.

The White House said Obama's visit to the plant in Cleveland in the state of Ohio, is in recognition of ArcelorMittal not only reviving the plant and bringing back people who had lost their jobs during the economic crisis but also for creating new jobs.

Obama will take a tour of the plant and deliver remarks on the economy, White House officials said.

Why Obama will visit ArcelorMittal's US plant

Image: L N Mittal
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters.

Auto suppliers like ArcelorMittal employ many times more workers than the auto companies alone, and the interdependence between the auto companies and their suppliers, dealers, and communities are what led some experts to estimate that if GM and Chrysler were allowed to liquidate, one million jobs or more could have been lost, according to White House officials.

They said due to increased demand for steel, factories like the Cleveland facility, which sends roughly half of the steel it produces to the auto sector, are again brimming with activity and hiring.

Why Obama will visit ArcelorMittal's US plant


Photographs: Courtesy, ArcelorMittal

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal is the world's largest steel producer, besides being the largest supplier of steel to the US auto manufacturing sector.

Industries like steel that rely heavily on demand from the auto manufacturers, including fabricated metals and machinery, have been the source of most of US manufacturing job growth since early 2010, officials said.

The workers at ArcelorMittal that were furloughed during the downturn in 2008 have been brought back, and as a result of new recent investments, the company has hired an additional 150 people, White House officials noted.

Why Obama will visit ArcelorMittal's US plant


Photographs: Courtesy, ArcelorMittal

On the eve of his visit, officials said when Obama took office in 2009, the economy was in freefall and the American auto industry was shedding jobs by the hundreds of thousands.

General Motors and Chrysler – iconic brands that long represented American manufacturing prowess – were on the brink of failure.

As a result, steel manufacturers like ArcelorMittal that relied on demand from the auto sector faced extreme hardship.

"As part of the effort to stem the damage from the financial crisis and return the country to a path of economic recovery, the President made the tough choice to help provide the auto industry the temporary support it needed to grow and prosper," officials said.

Why Obama will visit ArcelorMittal's US plant


Photographs: Courtesy, ArcelorMittal

"As a result of that decision, GM and Chrysler have roared back to life, and along with Ford, all three firms have been adding jobs, generating profits, and investing in their US facilities. Since June 2009 when the companies emerged from bankruptcy the auto industry has added 357,300 jobs, the strongest industry job growth since the 1990s," they said.

On Wednesday, the Department of Energy announced that the US has hit another milestone on the path to a more secure energy future.

Why Obama will visit ArcelorMittal's US plant


Photographs: Reuters

In October, domestic oil production exceeded oil imports for the first time since 1995, driven in part by the administration's development of new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.

To meet these historic vehicle efficiency standards, the auto manufacturers are demanding innovative steel to bring down the weight while maintaining the strength and resiliency of current materials, and steel suppliers are racing to create the innovative products to meet that demand.

"ArcelorMittal's Cleveland plant is a global leader in advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) which not only helps to improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, but it also helps the US to become a leader in advanced manufacturing products that will fuel an American manufacturing renaissance," the officials said. 

© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.