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Arkansas governor: New mill to help state lure auto industry

January 12, 2022 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday that a $3 billion steel mill planned for northeast Arkansas could help the state lure the auto industry to the state.

Hutchinson and state Commerce Secretary Mike Preston hailed the mill that the United States Steel Corp. said it would build in Osceola as the largest economic project in state history, with at least 900 people employed there.

“This puts us in a better position to say to the automobile industry, ’Locate in Arkansas. Put your next manufacturing facility here. Look at the steel we’re producing and how close you would be to this production of steel in our state,” Hutchinson told reporters.

Hutchinson said the wages for the jobs at the new mill would average $100,000. U.S. Steel has said it hopes to break ground early this year and complete the project in 2024.

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Arkansas lawmakers last month approved incentives aimed at luring the project to the state, including a tax credit for recycling equipment and $50 million for infrastructure improvements at the site.

U.S. Steel would build the mill near the Big River Steel mill, which it also owns. The area is also home to another mill owned by Nucor.