By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
March 04, 2016 07:41:56 AM
SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): In a testimony before the US Senate Committee, Rob Robson-Director of corporate logistics at Nucor Corporation stated that the domestic steel industry in the country is in crisis. The statement was made during his appearance before the Senate to extend support to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).
According to Robson, the dumping of steel products into US market has reached historic high levels, on account of surplus production by global steel making countries. The trade of goods into the country is in violation of international trade laws, he added. The unfair trade practice has led to significant reduction in domestic steel capacity utilization. For instance, the capacity utilization in 2015 dropped to less than 70%. Consequently, prices of steel products have witnessed unprecedented decline during the year. The rise in domestic steel consumption has benefited foreign producers. Local steel producers in the country are struggling to survive, Robson stated.
Commenting on WRDA, Robson noted that efficient use of ports and waterways will ensure the most competitive freight solution, which in turn will turn out to be advantageous for domestic steel producers over foreign competitors. The 2016 reauthorization could bring about positive changes in the manner in which projects are approved and funded. Robson also believes that the reauthorization could boost R&D activities and capital investment in domestic steel sector.
Incidentally, WRDA funds projects to modernize and expand U.S. ports and waterways. Though the Congress is supposed to pass WRDA legislation every two years, it has done so only thrice in recent past-in 2000, 2007 and 2014.