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Mario Longhi

US Steel President and CEO Mario Longhi, left, waits to speak on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 14, 2016, during a hearing on the State of the U.S. steel industry with testimony from industry executives and labor representatives before the Congressional Steel Caucus. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

United States Steel Corp. could be looking at restoring up to 10,000 jobs in the United States, Chief Executive Mario Longhi told the financial news network CNBC on Wednesday, without providing a timeline for the additions.

“I’m more than happy to bring back the employees that we were forced to lay off during the depressing period,” Longhi said in an interview on CNBC.

President-elect Donald Trump emphasized during his election campaign his desire to renegotiate trade deals and restore jobs.

U.S. Steel has cut jobs and idled plants, including the Granite City Works, as it tried to keep a lid on costs to tackle a steep fall in steel prices due to a global surplus.

The company had about 21,000 employees in North America as of Dec. 31, down from about 28,000 in 2007.

The steelmaker laid off last year about 1,500 people at its Granite City mill, or about three-quarters of the area labor force. Workers there have struggled financially, and the layoffs have also affected area businesses, as the Post-Dispatch reported on Nov. 27.

The steelmaker is hoping to accelerate its investments in the United States in the near future as changes to regulation and tax laws would significantly drive growth, Longhi said in the interview.

Trump put forth a plan in September to simplify the tax code and slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent.

Investors have put fresh bets on steel company shares on a positive sentiment in the industry that has been fueled by the Nov. 8 election.

“I have not felt an environment of positive optimism, where forces are converging to provide for better environment in quite a while,” Longhi was quoted as saying in the interview.

U.S. Steel did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on the job restoration plan.

The company’s shares closed up 4.3 percent at $37.49 on Wednesday. The stock has risen 79 percent since Trump’s victory.

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