A big steel plant near St. Louis might be purchased by United States Steel Corporation as US Steel moves to buy the assets of bankrupt National Steel. US Steel says the $750-Million purchase would make it more competitive globally and would preserve 8,200 jobs nationally. Granite City Steel employs 2,800 workers. Analysts believe US Steel is interested in Granite City’s finishing facilities and less interested in its basic steelmaking works, which could be shifted to other plants. US Steel executives, though, insist they aren’t buying assets to close them. The Granite City plant operates under the threat of being closed if US Steel doesn’t buy it. The deal as it stands would hurt retirees of National Steel. US Steel says it won’t take on the liability of their health insurance.