Steel Products

SMU Steel Summit: Ferriola’s Take on Trade

Written by Tim Triplett

Nucor Chairman, President and CEO John Ferriola remains an unabashed supporter of strong trade action by the Trump administration to level the playing field for domestic steelmakers against unfairly traded imports. “I’m encouraged that the president will take action that is both decisive and meaningful and will help restore the steel industry to its former position,” Ferriola said, following the president’s initial announcement.

Despite the rancorous debate about President Trump’s 25 percent tariff on steel imports and its potential to harm the economy and start a global trade war, Ferriola maintains “we are only treating other countries the way they treat us.”

Ferriola will be a featured speaker during Steel Market Update’s Steel Summit Conference Aug. 27-29 in Atlanta. Now the largest steel conference in North America, SMU’s summit is expected to draw more than 800 industry executives to the Georgia International Convention Center for three days of education and networking.

Not only a supporter of President Trump, Ferriola has been a vocal advisor to the president on trade. He’ll be able to offer conference attendees an insider’s perspective on the dialog that took place in the White House leading up to the Section 232 decision.

As Ferriola has repeatedly stated in making the case for his industry, the U.S. steel sector has been in decline for more than 30 years due to unfair competition from state-owned and subsidized steelmakers in China and other countries, “and the cheating continues unabated.” Global overcapacity of steel production remains a constant threat as foreign nations continually attempt to dump steel in the United States. Domestic mills need to operate at 85 percent of capacity to be economically sustainable. “You see a steel industry that is being decimated in the United States,” he said. “If that continues, I don’t know how anyone can argue that we would be able to have a strong national defense.”

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