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U.S. Steel’s Acquisition Will End a Difficult Marriage That Forged — and Constrained — Pittsburgh’s Identity

U.S Steel Tower in Pittsburgh

by Christopher Briem, Public Source

“It is a fitting end for United States Steel that its long history as a corporate behemoth ends with plans to be acquired whole by Japan’s Nippon Steel. Once a world leader, the steelmaker has long been in decline, and locally it has long been more a part of the region’s self-image than a partner in regional development.

Few places have retained an indelible moniker for as long as Pittsburgh has been known as the Steel City. It makes sense that a city and region that were the home to an unparalleled cluster of metals industries since long before the Civil War would be known for what they produced and exported to the world.

But the painful truth is that U.S. Steel, long the dominant local player in the industry, has never had anywhere near the commitment to Pittsburgh as Pittsburgh had to the corporation. And now a company that became moribund in strategic direction and management practices will be acquired by one from a country — Japan — that had no modern steelmaking when Andrew Carnegie first built the Edgar Thomson Works at Braddock, but continued to innovate long after U.S. Steel stopped doing so.”

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This article was originally published by PublicSource, a nonprofit newsroom serving the Pittsburgh region. Sign up for its free weekly newsletters here.

One Response

  1. Aaaahhhh. Who could forget the lovely smell of rotten eggs in Oakland on a warm winter night, as a temperature inversion trapped the pollution of J&L Steel in Hazelwood?


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