Steel Industry Getting In Line

The current economic slowdown has caused both a steep drop in the price of steel and a 50 percent reduction in sales by American steel companies. The solution? Government construction projects:

Output of steel has plunged 50 percent since September after posting record profits as construction and auto production have fallen sharply amid a US recession and the global credit crunch, The New York Times reported.

Industry executives are pleading for a huge public infrastructure investment program — of up to one trillion dollars over two years — under president-elect Barack Obama’s proposed stimulus plan, the newspaper said.

“What we are asking,” said Daniel DiMicco, chairman and chief executive of the Nucor Corporation, a giant steel maker, “is that our government deal with the worst economic slowdown in our lifetime through a recovery program that has in every provision a buy America’ clause,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

The steel industry can spring back to life through construction of highways, bridges, electric power grids, schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and rapid transit, industry executives told the New York Times.

No doubt “buy America” clauses will be helpful in getting those steel prices back up.

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