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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Steel / Aluminum ... Dependency and National Security

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rok-a-bill-e
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Nashville,USA

Clawhammer Rules!
Mar 3rd, 2018 04:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

From the American Steel Construction Institute website:

---"American steel mills have the capacity to produce 9 million tons of structural steel each year
7.2 million tons of structural steel were used in the U.S. in 2015
Existing American structural steel manufacturers can easily meet all domestic demand----"

So we import for economy, not need. And export where we can.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Mar 3rd, 2018 06:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Keep in mind that "structural steel" is only one use of steel.

Structural steel is a large steel usage category, but it's not the only usage category.

K4
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Being defenseless

does not make you more safe
Mar 3rd, 2018 08:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

US produced steel is a very high quality version. Railroad tracks and other things that need a quality product. The stuff that comes from China is a lower grade suitable for car fenders and other non critical items. Same with aluminum.

I see no problem buying over seas steel at low prices for the mundane uses. The only drawback is the loss of jobs. But do we really want to use our resources for low quality formulations?

The current system keeps prices of finished consumer goods at a low price.

If we end up in a world war our ability to start turning out tonnage of steel and other products is a year out or less. We have enough parts and other items to cover that time.

Tariffs never work and only harm the people who buy products.

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Mar 4th, 2018 08:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"The mills and smelters that supply the raw material that would benefit directly...have been shrinking for years. Today those industries employ fewer than 200K people. The companies that buy steel and aluminum, to make everything from trucks to chicken coops, employ more than 6.5 million workers, acco rding to a Heritage Foundation analysis of Commerce Department data......One retrospective study of ( 30% tariffs on steel imposed by Pres. Bush in 2003) found that higher steel prices cost more jobs than people employed in the industry at the time."
NYT 3/4/18

(This message was last edited by professor at 10:21 AM, Mar 4th, 2018)

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Mar 4th, 2018 08:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

In the wake of WW2, when much of what was the industrial world was in wreckage, the US could dominate because our infrastructure was intact and powered up for war production.

It's a radically different world now. The Chinese have to keep their economy juiced in order to keep a billion people busy and not on the streets. They will press their advantages where they can, but they can't rock the boat of trade too much, because they have much more to lose and operate closer to the margin.

Current tariff talk, like other statements, will end up being posturing on the US' part, IMO.

(This message was last edited by professor at 10:32 AM, Mar 4th, 2018)

Jake
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West Chester PA

Wait, what?
Mar 4th, 2018 08:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Security may imply having available multiple options from friendly partners.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Mar 4th, 2018 09:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Security may imply having available multiple options from friendly partners."

While this is true.

The problem crops up where you have to realize that if one unfriendly player controls over half the means of production of the raw material and many of the friendly partners are being supplied through that route ... security is a mirage.

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Mar 4th, 2018 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don’t see why the Chinese would withold steel in an attempt to gain some strategic leverage or economic advantage. They don’t have a monopoly on its manufacture. If Saudi Arabia decided to withold oil from the world market, it would cause some short term disruption, but long term other sources would make up the difference, and the Saudis would be economically weakened. Like the Chicoms, they need to maintain cash flow.

(This message was last edited by professor at 12:23 PM, Mar 4th, 2018)

BlondeStrat
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Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Mar 4th, 2018 11:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I don’t see why the Chinese would withold steel in an attempt to gain some strategic leverage or economic advantage."

Under *normal*circumstances, I agree, it seems far fetched.

Should a situation come where a Country (or Countries) might decide to forcibly impose their will ... all bets are off.

I just wonder if it's in the best interest of America and her Allies to stand by and passively watch as circumstances come to allow that as a possibility. We probably are already at that point.

Some might argue that it's better to insure these World dynamics are arranged such that they prohibit the possibility ... as opposed to paving the way for the possibility.

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Mar 4th, 2018 11:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Should a situation come where a Country (or Countries) might decide to forcibly impose their will ... all bets are off."

This applies to so many possibilities, from so many directions. A much more obvious version is the attempt by the Russians to use their natural gas for political leverage in Europe. All that has done is diminish their own economic needs and forced European countries to develop alternate sources.

The Chinese are trying to maximize their advantages, but they are also burdened with tremendous constraints.

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Mar 4th, 2018 11:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Chinese are also quite dependent on imported iron ore for their steel industry.

Steel industry in China

henrycat
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Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Mar 5th, 2018 08:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It gets complicated. China is a significant purchaser of US Treasury issues and they need US dollars to do this. Punishing them with restrictive tariffs could have a "boomerang" effect.

The World Trade organization needs to be re-vamped in order to deal with these issues on a more timely and less political basis.

Just my two cents worth.

Jake
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West Chester PA

Wait, what?
Mar 6th, 2018 06:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"security is a mirage."

And so may be self sufficiency.

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Mar 6th, 2018 07:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The North Koreans call it

Juche

Moose0130
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USA

DOAIHPS
Mar 6th, 2018 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A very respectful discussion, cool to read.

My $0.02

While I do believe security requires a certain amounts of domestic capability in key areas, I also believe that the pathway to longer lasting and 'stronger' security is robust trade to create a certain 'codependency' between nations.

China and the US are clear natural rivals; however, the more it remains mutually beneficial to work together the harder it is to break those bonds. How to strike the 'fair' balance in that relationship is exceptionally challenging and veers too close to political discussions for this setting.

Hope my views are received in the spirit intended and that I did not wander off acceptable guardrails. Please DOB this post if interpreted otherwise, this is an interesting thread and I don't want to mess it up.

RKSTRAT
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USA

"Clapton is Good"
Mar 6th, 2018 08:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic



"The last trade war was in the 1930s, and intensified the effects of the Great Depression, according to economists and trade experts. It started after President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot Hawley Tariff Act into law in 1930, which raised tariffs on more than 20,000 products."

Just saying'........

stl80
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USA

stl80
Mar 6th, 2018 08:07 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use stainless flanges. They are marked China, India, and Philippines in about even ratios.
Jim

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Mar 6th, 2018 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I also believe that the pathway to longer lasting and 'stronger' security is robust trade to create a certain 'codependency' between nations."

That right there is the ideal situation. Creating and even more so maintaining that dynamic of codependency is the tightrope we walk.

I really think that we here in America are tuned to only think in terms of the economic value to society in a perfect World.

My attempt to wrap my head around the flip side of this is driven by the realization that our basic nature (in that regard) can be and is easily exploited by those of an authoritarian mindset.

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 12:56 PM, Mar 6th, 2018)

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Mar 6th, 2018 09:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^ word

Moose0130
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USA

DOAIHPS
Mar 6th, 2018 11:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^ word, word



Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Steel / Aluminum ... Dependency and National Security




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