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US Steel wants to accelerate investments, bring back jobs, CEO says

United States Steel would like to accelerate its investments and hire back laid-off employees now that Donald Trump will be occupying the Oval Office, CEO Mario Longhi told CNBC on Wednesday.

"We already structured to do some things, but when you see in the near future improvement to the tax laws, improvements to regulation, those two things by themselves may be a significant driver to what we're going to do," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."

In addition, the belief that the U.S. economy can grow at least 3.5 percent also adds to what the company can do, Longhi noted.

"I'd be more than happy to bring back the employees we've been forced to lay off during that depressive period," he said, which "could be close to 10,000 jobs."

In a statement to CNBC later, U.S. Steel clarified that Longhi was "referring to the American steel industry overall, not just to employees of United States Steel Corporation."

Shares of the Pittsburgh-based company have soared about 80 percent since Trump's stunning victory on Nov. 8. Investors appear to be betting on increased infrastructure spending, which the president-elect has promised, as well as further restrictions on China-produced steel.

Corporate America is also cheering Trump's promises of less regulation. Longhi said regulation has a role to play, but believes it "has to be done smartly."

"When you get into some situations where we're being asked to control some substances in water that are far lower than what nature naturally offers, that's irrational," he said.

"There was a point in time in the past couple years that I was having to hire more lawyers to try to interpret these new regulations than I was hiring … engineers. That doesn't make any sense."