Steel construction market unaffected by new tariffs

March 08, 2002 |

While President Bush's tariffs of up to 30 percent on steel imports will result in higher prices on such products as cars and appliances, the hefty tariffs do not apply to most steel construction products, according to H. Louis Gurthet, president of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).

'President Bush's recommendations should have no affect on the price or availability of structural steel in the United States,' stated Gurthet in a AISC press release.

Bush's report to Congress does not recommend or impose tariffs on the products that are used in the construction of steel-framed buildings, such as wide flange members (or I-beams), angles and channels. In addition, the tariffs do not apply to steel decking or steel joist products. As a result, the imposed tariffs will have no impact on the steel construction market.

Currently, the mill price of structural steel is approximately the same as it was 30 years ago, but with two differences: Steel is nearly 40 percent stronger, and all domestically produced beams and columns are manufactured almost exclusively from recycled material.

Steel availability is currently at excellent levels with an even rosier future ahead with the anticipated start-up of another major domestic steel mill. Steel Dynamics Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., reported that it anticipates shipping beams and columns beginning in May, joining the strong production of Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., Blytheville, Ark., and TXI-Chaparral Steel, Midlothian, Texas.

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