United States steel companies claim they are being priced out of the market by large amounts of foreign steel imported into the country.
MLV Ship tied up in harbour
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CV Label "Made in Japan"
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Background: United States steel companies claim they are being priced out of the market by large amounts of foreign steel imported into the country. Currently, all the warehouses at major ports are filled with steel from Europe and Japan, and U.S. producers say they cannot match the lower prices because foreign production costs are lower. A strike by 350,000 U.S. steelworkers, meanwhile, was averted today (August 2) at the last moment with a wage increase agreement.
The agreement fought against by the companies on the grounds that they could not afford it in the face of cheap imported steel.
SYNOPSIS: A major strike by 350,000 steel workers in the United States was averted at the last moment on Monday when steel companies agreed to a 30 per cent wage increase over three years. But the increase was ought against by management on the grounds that it couldn't afford it because of vast imports of cheap steel from Japan and Europe.
Imported steel, U.S. manufacturers claim, is produced more cheaply -- and undersells American steel by a large margin even after shipping costs. In addition, the imported steel is normally as high a quality, and often higher, than American Steel. Now, the U.S. manufacturers want the Government to place restrictions on steel imports - because, they say, it puts them in an unfair position. There are no restrictions at the moment, but there foreign steel producers to limit tonnages to america. That agreement was reached in 1968 to avoid U.S. Government restrictions, but it runs out this year.
Most of the imported steel apparently goes to car and domestic appliance manufacturers, but some of it also goes to the American steel and re-sell it, because it's cheaper and easier than re-tooling a factory to fill their smaller orders. Meanwhile, steel continues to be imported -- and American manufacturers claim that they cannot take much more foreign competition.