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On The Call: US Steel CEO John Surma

The slowing global economy has kept pressure on U.S. steel manufacturers. In particular, Europe's massive debt crisis has caused some countries to fall into recession, which has hurt demand for products manufactured by United States Steel Corp.

U.S. Steel Chairman and CEO John P. Surma discussed business conditions in Europe on Tuesday with analysts during a conference call.

QUESTION: What are you seeing in Europe and looking forward to in 2013?

RESPONSE: Things in Europe are very choppy right now ... I think it's going to be pretty slow in Europe certainly for this quarter as we suggested, auto production which we have a piece of, directly and indirectly, is way off, manufacturing off. Construction continues to be very difficult ...

There's not a whole lot of good news in Europe and on pricing, things are very, very competitive and whether you're coming from the west, from the east from the south, from the north, things are very competitive (and) I expect is going to stay that way for little while ...

We have a really good cost structure, operating cost structure, really high productivity, good logistics on materials at very competitive cost of materials ... We're going to focus on that and try to keep our costs as low as they can (be).

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