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U.S. Steel could restore up to 10,000 U.S. jobs - CEO tells CNBC

Reuters

(Reuters) - United States Steel Corp <X.N> could be looking at restoring up to 10,000 jobs in the United States, Chief Executive Mario Longhi told CNBC, without providing a timeline for the additions.

"I'm more than happy to bring back the employees that we were forced to lay off during the depressing period," Longhi said in an interview on CNBC.

During his election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump emphasized his desire to renegotiate trade deals and restore jobs, while also stressing for the next generation of production to happen in the United States, including "producing steel."

U.S. Steel has cut jobs and idled plants in the country as it tried to keep a lid on costs to tackle a steep fall in steel prices due to a global surplus.

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The company had about 21,000 employees in North America as of Dec. 31, down from about 28,000 in 2007.

"Market conditions will dictate if, when and how many employees we can recall," a U.S. Steel spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday.

The steelmaker is hoping to accelerate its investments in the United States in near future as improvements to regulation and tax laws would significantly drive growth, Longhi said in the CNBC interview.

Trump put forth a plan in September to simplify the tax code and slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent.

Investors have put fresh bets on steel company shares on a positive sentiment in the industry that has been fueled by the Nov. 8 election.

U.S. Steel's shares, which closed up 4.3 percent at $37.49 on Wednesday, have risen 79 percent since Trump's victory.

"I have not felt an environment of positive optimism, where forces are converging to provide for better environment in quite a while," Longhi was quoted as saying in the interview.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

 
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