The joint venture between U.S. steelmaker Nucor and its Japanese counterpart JFE Steel launched earlier this week the website for the company in Mexico, which highlights a recruiting section aimed to fill the 300 job vacancies required to start up operations.
The US$ 270 million plant with an annual output capacity of 400,000 tons of hot-dip galvanized steel sheet for the automotive industry is scheduled to open in the second half of 2019 at the FIPASI industrial park in Silao, Guanajuato.
In a recent interview with S&P Global Platts, Nucor CEO John Ferriola said that renegotiation of NAFTA will not have a direct effect on the joint venture as the steel produced in Guanajuato will supply automotive demand in Mexico's domestic market.
“We think NAFTA has been good for the steel industry and we think NAFTA has been good for the U.S. and Mexico. If you look at the steel relationship, particularly with Mexico, we've had a slight trade surplus with Mexico in steel,” he said.
Regardless of the current state of things, Ferriola agreed that NAFTA needs to be updated, noting that rules of origin stipulations in the current agreement are out of date.