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Struggles In The United States Steel Industry

826 words - 4 pages

Struggles in the United States Steel Industry

In the past decade the United States has encountered many challenges to its steel industry. The steel industry has changed tremendously since the early 1900’s when the United States dominated the steel market. According to figures on a Global Steel Business website, in 1900, the United States produced 37% of the world's steel. Now Asia produces 40% of the world's steel and China is the world leader in steel production. The United States decline in steel production has forced the United States to import 24% more steel in 1999 than 1998. (GSB 1)

There are many reasons why United States steel industries are struggling. One main ...view middle of the document...

The United States steel companies can't compete with these foreign steel prices and are constantly undersold. A third reason United States Steel companies are struggling is the problem within the company's management. Unlike a century ago when large companies ruled the market, now most steel companies are smaller. A recent article in The Economist magazine explains that these small companies often don't have the managerial skills to compete in the “highly complicated steel market” (The Economist 83). This article also gives a good example of this problem in the United States found in the Nucor Steel Company. Nucor started as a small steel company in North Carolina and has grown into the nations leading producer of steel. This company is now in great turmoil, and the board of directors is threatening to close the company. The United States also regulate strict working and safety codes which make producing steel much more expensive than in the previously mentions countries who have no such codes to protect their employees (GSB).

The United States is fighting back against these countries and are taking many steps to benefit its steel companies. An article on the Global Steel Business web site states that on Feb. 16, 1999, five United States steel companies, Bethlehem Steel, Gulf States Steel, IPSCO Steel, Tuscaluasa Steel, and U.S. Steel filed a lawsuit against eight foreign countries for steel dumping. These countries include Japan and South Korea, two of the...

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