Steel Mills

Response to Recent Letter to the Editor

Written by John Packard

Steel Market Update recently published a “letter to the editor” regarding the domestic mills need to compete in a world market. We received comments from a mill based source who asked they not be identified. The original letter is below with the response being the “bold” print below:

I guess it’s fine for the US mills to complain about the competition in the international market place being “unfair”.  As well as it may be or not.  But the mills’ suppliers of scrap, iron ore, ferroalloys, refractories, inoculants, and many other products deal with it every day without help save ferroalloys.  I can’t believe the nerve of the USA mills to say all foreign competition is unfair.  (I have never heard anyone say all competition is unfair, this is similar to a temporary, 7 country immigration policy being called closed borders or anti-immigration or anti-muslim, a complete, on-purpose misrepresentation) They get relief and we do not. (who is we?) Nucor imports cargoes of scrap from Europe at prices under our market. (where are the facts on this?  Those buys are made at an international market price and by the time they arrive can be higher or lower than domestic market.) Did the EU dump on us?

The rest of our industries want to try to streamline their expenses and production practices to compete on the world level but the USA steel mills want the government’s help when they don’t deserve it…  Ok, every other country who is operating under the economic Law of Comparative Advantage and can produce steel cheaper than we can is dumping.(US mills are not streamlined?, US mill don’t have good production practices? Also, once again, “every other country” broad brush approach) I just don’t believe it.  Of course when  the USA mills are caught in a domestic downturn, their offers at bargain prices to get rid of their excess to international steel traders are just fine and above reproach. If you knew what I know, you’d be quite ashamed of the hypocrisy.(you have the pen in your hand, why the vague innuendo?  You took the time to write, would a few details be out of line?)

Now that Trump is elected the steel industry sees its chance to expand its accusations of dumping to other producers whether its true or not.(The ITC and Commerce collect mountains of data and evidence before every ruling)  This is not the American way, as I knew it.  Its sheer desperation and affront to the American consumers and the metals industry.  And when President Trump becomes aware of the real facts, (if he wants to hear them) he’ll let them compete with the rest of the world.  (desperation and affront seem to come from a broad brush, no detail rant from an anonymous source that does nothing to help problem solve.  Everyone knows US companies compete with sovereign entities who cheat according to international rules.   Must admit I am surprised you printed this with so little detail.  Love the idea of presenting all sides and having every issue studied in light of day, but this seems the work of an indignant child not a business savvy problem solver.)

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