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Steel company ArcelorMittal says it still intends $1 billion USD investment regardless

Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán — The largest steel producer in the world says it intends to hold its promise to invest more than $1 billion USD in Mexico.

The steel company ArcelorMittal says they will develop a new production line in its Lázaro Cárdenas plant in Michoacán in the next three years, despite the renegotiation of NAFTA and the announcement of tariffs on steel in the US.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, has not changed its plans to invest the $1 billion USD in a new production line in Mexico, a spokesman said, despite uncertainty about the terms of trade in North America.

Since ArcelorMittal announced the investment in September, the NAFTA renegotiation led by US President Donald Trump have stalled. Trump also raised fears of a global trade war by announcing plans to set tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The National Chamber of the Iron and Steel Industry of Mexico has called for “the application of equivalent and reciprocal measures on imports of steel from the United States” if Trump complies with his plan next week as promised.

The spokesman for ArcelorMittal in Mexico said that 80 percent of the steel the company produces in the country is destined for the local market, and that the remaining 20 percent is exported to the United States, Canada and other markets.

“In this context, we will continue working in the same way,” said Ricardo Bussey, director of Corporate Affairs at ArcelorMittal México.

He added that the company maintains its plan to make the $1 billion USD investment over the next three years at its plant in Lázaro Cárdenas, calculating steel production in Mexico to be around four million tons this year.

ArcelorMittal said in a statement issued Friday that it was evaluating the possible global impact of expected US tariffs on steel imports.