Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

With the exception of ArcelorMittal and Cliffs Natural Resources, the U.S. steel industry passed on making statements about climate change and how much the steel industry has done over the past twenty years to minimize its carbon footprint and to reduce pollutants in the air and water. The rise of Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF) and recycling of ferrous scrap has had a major impact on the amount of blast furnace/BOF production and the need to take carbon out of iron ore and coal in order to make steel.

I am trying to catch up on some questions that were asked on various topics over the past week or so. One of the questions asked of me was, “A question that came through this morning regarding the President’s powers under the Section 232 statute. My understanding he will have free reign to stop imports, put in quotas or add tariffs. Can you fill in any holes in my understanding so I can share what options he has?” I received a response from Lewis Leibowitz on this question this evening: “The President has authority to limit imports if there is a valid national security finding by the Dept. of Commerce in consultation with the Defense Department.  Any remedy must address imports—it cannot include subsidies for domestic companies or measures that could affect domestic production as well as imports (such as production quotas).”

The U.S. Department of Commerce published 1,598 pages of written testimony in the Section 232 investigation on steel. You can access all 1,598 pages by clicking on this link (and waiting for the 1,598 pages to download – it takes awhile).

Ferrous scrap negotiations are ongoing and early reports are prices are sideways to down $10 per ton but most locations have not yet finished negotiations. We will have more in Thursday evening’s issue of SMU.

By the way, I haven’t mentioned this in awhile – Steel Market Update has no sales force. We do not twist our free trials and people we meet at conferences, etc. to become members of SMU or attend our workshops or conferences. Many of our customers and attendees come from the good words you – our members – say about us to your customers, suppliers and friends in the industry. Please do not stop doing that. I am hiring people to work for SMU but sales is not the priority. Our customers continue to be our priority and the quality of our content, workshops and conferences are our priority. If you like SMU please tell someone (you can start by telling your boss…).

As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, Publisher

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