No, U.S. Steel is not opening six new mills as Donald Trump said

President Donald Trump has boasted about big growth in the steel industry at campaign-style rallies this summer.

“U.S. Steel just announced that they are building six new steel mills,” Trump said July 31 in Tampa. “And that number is soon going to be lifted, but I’m not allowed to say that, so I won’t.”

Trump repeated the company would open six major facilities at a roundtable in Minnesota on June 20 and again at a lunch with members of Congress on June 26.

That was one mill down from when he said the company was going to open seven on July 27.

That would be huge news, given the company only has four steelmaking facilities in the United States. But there’s no evidence on their website that any new mills are on the horizon.

Meghan Cox, a spokeswoman for U.S. Steel, told us that Trump wasn’t privy to any exclusive information.

“All of our operational changes have been publicly announced and all information shared with the federal government has been properly disclosed and made available on our website,” Cox said.

(The White House did not respond to our request for comment.)

Cox pointed to several projects U.S. Steel announced this year. That includes plans to invest $275 million to $325 million in capital projects, announced in February; to construct a new steel-coating line to help PRO-TEC, a subsidiary, make cars in Leipsic, Ohio; and to restart two blast furnaces that will create 800 new jobs at an integrated steel-making plant in Granite City. The company idled those furnaces in 2015, laying off about 2,000 workers.

Mills are complex operations, so we asked William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, whether a single plant might be easily mistaken for multiple plants.

[Politifact]

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