Sen. Mitt Romney made a rare trip to Box Elder County last Friday to tour the Nucor Steel facility in Plymouth in northern Utah, mingling with workers and meeting with local management as well as some of the North Carolina-based company’s top brass to discuss some of the most pressing economic issues of the day.

The Republican senator from Utah talked infrastructure, sustainability and competition with China, among other topics affecting one of the county’s largest employers as he learned more about the plant’s operations.

Romney met with the Nucor leadership team led by Chris Locke, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel Utah; Dan Needham, EVP of Nucor Corporation; Shannon Phillips, president of Nucor’s Vulcraft/Verco Group; and Ed Aller, president of Nucor Buildings Group.

“Utah’s pro-growth policies and talented workforce make our state a great place to operate and grow a business,” Romney stated in a press release. “Nucor is a great example of that — having expanded their operations to Utah — and providing more than 1,600 Utahns with good-paying jobs. I enjoyed visiting their Plymouth steel plant today to better understand Nucor Steel Utah’s operations and learn more about their approach to sustainable steel production.”

Meeting with company executives and local management, Romney discussed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and how he said it will help the U.S. remain competitive with countries like China, “who are using predatory market tools to capture large portions of the global steel market.

“I look forward to working with companies like Nucor to ensure our state remains a great place to run a business and that our policies bolster American manufacturing,” he said.

Locke said the Nucor Steel Utah team was honored to host the senator and show him first-hand the Plymouth plant’s sustainable process for making steel bars from recycled scrap, most of which is supplied by Western Metals Recycling located next door.

“We appreciate the senator’s leadership and support of pro-manufacturing policies including the recently passed infrastructure bill,” he said. “Investing in our infrastructure will benefit Utah’s manufacturers and allow all Americans to realize the advantages of a growing U.S. economy.”

Nearly a year ago, Nucor announced that the third manufacturing facility for its TrueCore division would be built in Brigham City. The company said the facility, which will make insulated wall and roof panels, is expected to be up and running sometime this year with about 50 employees.

Nucor broke ground in 1979 for the Plymouth steel bar mill, which was the company’s first facility in Utah.