Steel Mills

John Correnti Says Government Should “Stay Out”

Written by Sandy Williams

Big River Steel CEO John Correnti says government should “stay out” of private industry. What appeared to be a contradiction after receiving more than $125 million in incentives from the state of Arkansas, Correnti stated in an interview with Arkansas Business that states have to invest in big business in order to stay competitive, but “as far as government is concerned, they should stay out of private industry.”

Correnti, a former president and CEO of Nucor Corporation, told Arkansas Business that he was “disappointed” in Nucor’s vehement opposition to Big River Steel and said that “Nucor has lost its way.”

“You compete on the playing field and that is the marketplace,” said Correnti. “You don’t compete in the courtroom.”

In a drawn-out litigation process, said Correnti, “at the end of the day the lawyers win. Nobody else wins.” He compared the steel competitors to big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Cosco and Target. When all three are grouped together, all become better operators. “And you know who benefits,” he said. “You and I—the consumers.”

Big River Steel expects to be major U.S. producer of pipe and tube as well as specialty products like advanced high strength steels used in automotive manufacturing. The flat rolled electric arc furnace mini-mill, to be constructed in Osceola, Arkansas, will have a capacity of 1.6 million tons annually. Construction is expected to take two years with initial production anticipated for July 2016.

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