“Of course I am worried about the tariffs, It’s starting to take a toll on my daily life,” said Kim Young-ho, a 37-year-old steelworker who was born and raised in Pohang, the birthplace of South Korea’s steel industry and home to huge producers like Posco and Hyundai Steel.
This is Steel City. One of the major arteries through the city is “Steel Road,” workers stop off to eat at the “Steel Chinese Restaurant,” and the Pohang soccer club is named the “Steelers.”
But the city was already struggling amid increasing competition from Chinese steelmakers, and the effects of a highly unusual 5.4-magnitude earthquake that struck last November.
Kim works at Nexteel, a midsize steel company that used to export 80 percent of its annual output of 716,000 tons to the United States. Most of its exports are steel pipes for the American energy sector.
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