US Steel Warns Of Layoffs In Arkansas And Texas As Trans-Pacific Partnership LoomsUnited States Steel Corporation issued layoff notices to 1,404 workers in the latest sign of struggle for the American steel industry. The missives went out in recent days to workers producing pipe and tube products that are used in the oil and gas sector. Job cuts could come as early as June for 17 to 579 employees at a plant in Lone Star, Texas, 166 at a factory in Houston, 255 at a mill in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and 404 managers across the company’s tubular operations nationwide. Since last June, the company has informed 7,800 employees of potential job cuts, a tally from Pittsburgh Business Times indicated. U.S. Steel spokeswoman Sarah Cassella said the ongoing layoffs are the result of “challenging market conditions and global influences in the market including a high level of imports, reduced prices for oil and natural gas and reduced steel prices.” Looming in the distance is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim countries that includes major steel producers like Japan and South Korea, and has the support of the White House. Critics say it could exacerbate domestic steel’s woes. FULL REPORT