In March of 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on imported steel increased by 25 percent. Asserting that “Trade wars are good, and easy to win,” the president issued the order as part of his plan to reverse what he believed to be a decades-long posture of defeat in global trade policy.The targets of this strategy included the European Union (EU), Mexico and Canada, with steel from China falling under a separate sanction. Morgan Stanley estimates that steel and aluminum constitute 4.1 percent of American imports. The question remains: did these actions benefit the American steel industry?

Restricted Area sign on the White House's fence

The consensus among many media sources is a short-term yes and a long-term no. According to the Washington Post, steel prices and production initially rose after the executive order yet those improvements did not translate into higher rates of employment. This may be due to advances in technology whereby production facilities can yield greater output without requiring additional personnel. Another hindrance to hiring came at the outset of 2019 as the global economy nearly ground to a halt. As spending in the automobile, durable goods and energy sectors dropped, so did steel prices to a large degree

The Steel Industry Response

Responding to the March 2018 change in policy, steel manufacturer executives upgraded and expanded production capacity. The subsequent drop in demand left them in a position of laying off employees and idling furnaces. Although Trump later lifted the tariffs on Canada and Mexico, the excess amount of steel coming from China continues to keep demand low. While many variables remain undetermined, e.g. trade negotiations with China and the not-yet ratified deal with Mexico and Canada, it is clear that levies on foreign goods–whether right or wrong–will not preserve metal manufacturing in and of themselves.

At the same time, not all voices are pessimistic. While construction growth might slow, it is expected to continue to climb because of continued public investment, e.g. schools and infrastructure. The use of rolled round bars in frameworks, supports and braces means that the rise in construction activity ensures the need for steel. Other once-reliable sectors, like auto manufacturing, are subject to less promising outlooks. Absent government intervention, producers must maintain continued innovation and efficiencies to compete under tighter conditions.

Advance Grinding Services is Prepared

The staff at Advance Grinding Services Inc has known this all along. This is why its centerless grinding and precision grinding processes apply to steel and myriad other materials. Its precision round bars can be stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, titanium, brass copper or bronze. Whether manufacturers look for high tolerance, corrosion resistance or electrical conductivity, our company will match the right material to any task or application. With both cold and hot finished projects, we deliver on time, in accordance with industry standards of excellence and to the satisfaction of our customers. When the global, national or local economy becomes rocky, Advanced Grinding Services Inc does not sit back and wait for prosperity. We earn it with a superior product and always reliable customer service. Contact Advance Grinding Services today, and receive three competitive quotes!