United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) stock simmered out of the gate today, but surged after President Trump signed a directive for an investigation into any adverse effects foreign steel has had on domestic producers.
The probe, led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, gives Trump the ability to restrict imports from foreign makers on the grounds of national security.
President Trump described it as “a historic day for American steel and most importantly for American steel workers.”
U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi reportedly told CNBC that the directive “clarifies the direct link that exists in unfair trade,” teasing that “jobs will come along with it.”
It’s a welcome upside move amid a volatile 2017 for steel stocks, which has also been politically motivated. Even after the Republicans failed to derail the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street still sees a higher chance of healthcare reform over tax reform. Waiting on tax reform means waiting on the supposed package dedicated to infrastructure spending.
Today’s gains look to reverse that troubled year for steel producers, but X stock remains mired in red — down 6% for the year. AKS stock is down a grueling 34%, and CLF gave back 14% this year.