Trade deal adds to steelwokers’ worries

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The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement represents a major threat to the U.S. steel industry, a United Steelworker representative said this week during a visit to Pueblo following the short-term layoff of 450 local steelworkers.

The layoffs in EVRAZ Pueblo’s rail and steelmaking operations were the latest cuts implemented as the U.S. steel industry struggles with foreign steel imports, a weak U.S. and global economy and a slowdown in U.S. oil and gas drilling.

The cuts include the shut down of the Pueblo plant’s 200-worker seamless pipe unit for an indefinite period.

Catherine Houston, the San Francisco-based coordinator of the steelworker union’s rapid response program in the western U.S., visited Pueblo for several days this past week to meet with EVRAZ employees.

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