WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded the announcement by Cliffs Natural Resources to invest an estimated $700 million to build a new production facility in Toledo.

  • The project is expected to create 130 permanent jobs and more than 1,200 construction jobs.

“This investment is good news for Toledo workers and their families,” said Brown. “Cliffs Natural recognized that Ohio workers are best-equipped to get the job done right. I’m glad to see more good-paying jobs are coming to northwest Ohio, and I look forward to working with Cliffs to ensure their continued success.” 

The new production facility will manufacture hot briquetted iron (HBI), which is used in the steelmaking process. The project is expected to break ground in 2018 with production set to begin in 2020.

Brown has worked to protect the steel sector from unfair trade practices. Last month, Brown proposed four steps President Trump should take as he pursues a 100 Day Plan on trade with China. In a letter sent to Trump, Brown outlined four steps that must be a part of the Administration’s efforts to work with China on trade to produce real results for U.S. companies and workers, particularly those who’ve been harmed by China’s steel overcapacity.

In March, Brown met with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to discuss how they can work together and with President Trump to negotiate better trade deals for Ohio workers and boost Ohio’s steel industry. In the meeting, Brown raised several of his priorities for working with the Commerce Department, including addressing steel overcapacity, currency manipulation, and maintaining China’s nonmarket economy status.

Brown authored the Leveling the Playing Field Act, which he worked with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) to pass into law in 2015, in order to give Ohio companies more tools when fighting unfair trade practices by China and other countries.