US steelmakers seeing light at end of tunnel: Nucor CEO


Washington (Platts)–23 May 2017 540 pm EDT/2140 GMT

As steel has taken on a more prominent role in Washington in 2017, it’s leading to a more positive outlook for US steel producers, according to Nucor CEO John Ferriola.

“We can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel, and this time it’s not a freight train coming at us,” Ferriola said at the American Iron and Steel Institute and Steel Manufacturers Association joint 2017 general meeting, held Tuesday in Washington. “Things are looking up.”

Ferriola, who on Tuesday was elected to serve a second term as AISI chairman, said having a trade team in place under President Donald Trump’s administration that includes members that have worked in or closely with the steel industry, including Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro, will likely help steelmakers see some relief from issues that have dogged the US steel industry for years.

“The Trump administration continues to show commitment to the steel industry and, very importantly, manufacturing as a whole,” Ferriola said. Trump’s recent executive orders have addressed issues that specifically affect steel, Ferriola said, and most notably, under Ross’ leadership the US Department of Commerce in April announced it was conducting a Section 232 investigation regarding the US steel industry and the impact of steel imports on national security.

“We welcome last month’s 232 investigation that was initiated by President Trump and Secretary Ross because it sends a strong signal to China and other countries that this administration is serious about cracking down on trade abuses,” Ferriola said.

Additionally, steelmakers stand to benefit from the administration’s decision to freeze new Clean Power Plan regulations and repeal rules adopted during the last eight years, he said.

“The Obama administration imposed a number of major regulations, particularly targeting energy and the environment, that would have driven up our energy costs tremendously,” Ferriola said. “Regulatory reform will be a positive step forward and encourage other manufacturing investment in the US.


One Response to “US steelmakers seeing light at end of tunnel: Nucor CEO”

  1. Mark Ahearn

    I read several of the articles RE: steel, national defense, tarifs, and
    section 232. I could not help but examine the stakeholders.

    A short list: domestic labor, foreign labor, domestic raw materials,
    state owned manufacturing, national security interests, US business and social
    infrastructure “owners”, and lastly Donald Trump himself.

    A few things missing: congruent foreign, domestic, and national security
    policies; a national energy policy; grid and utilities infrastructure crisis
    planning; banking and finance (sector 52) reforms; and finally principled
    moral leadership.

    The flood of imports occur because we have domestic CUSTOMERS buying the
    product, and creating “downstream” goods with less cost and higher profit
    margins. Large import purchasers use fewer and cheaper employees, rely on
    guarentees of billions in purchases from the US Government, and work to
    elminate any small business competition.

    Capitalism 101. A General Motors CEO said on 60 minutes: “China is 50-50
    partners with us [for an auto plant] using the most modern factories GM can make and assemble overseas… when the equipment is finally depreciated, we will just turn it
    over to the Chinese..”

    WE __manufacture and assemble___ the very factories used to export these goods for
    USE BY the state of China IN CHINA. Furthermore, we use our own employees to train foreign workers, then fire them once the training is completed. Never mind tariffs on imports, start minding THIS store a little. We EXPORT factories in this day and age.

    The glut of steel is NOTHING compared to the inevitable DECLINE of a nation
    that has “progressed” from a production economy, to a service economy, to an
    information economy, to a “GIG” economy.

    Kudos to the CEO who has built the new steel plant on the banks of the
    Mississippi in AR. He had fast track bank funding and the tax breaks from the
    state and local government.

    Not sure the 70K salaries that were quoted for the plant workers are real
    anymore than the average small business owner in Arkansas can get the loans he
    needs to conduct his domestic business.


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