Steel Industry Import Taxes

When we raised the steel import tax a few years ago it hurt many manufacturing sectors who used steel in their production. It also hurt smaller companies, which use steel in their products. US Steel prices have cost our team thousands of extra dollars due to the import taxes that were imposed. We told everyone if they raise the cost of steel even one hundred dollars per ton we will seek to build the truck beds out of other materials, and once we do we will never go back to steel. It is heavy, costs gas mileage, rusts, leaving iron oxide streaks on the exterior paint. It is by the cost we even still use steel.

If the steel companies in this country cannot run more efficient and get their labor unions to perform efficiently then one should not expect the public to support that industry or buy their products. We can build the truck beds out of fiberglass, plastic or composite. We will be able to build uni-body shells and make them more ascetically pleasing. So the administration and the steel industry better get their act together. The auto industry also took a hit and many of the cars are moving to lighter materials and they will not go back once they do because the mileage savings in efficiency is important also.

We need Brazil as a trading partner; we need Japan’s economy to return to growth. We should not give a crutch to an industry that is not innovative and lets their workers kick back and do little if any work. The steel union is strong and they do not believe in hard work ethic like the competition in their industry. We should not support laziness and give a company an edge. Giving away free fish makes even the best of us lazy. This problem is affecting our team and costing our franchisees money and ROI time, due to increased costs in new equipment. That hurts their families and their ability to grow their businesses. The import tax of 50% on steel, hurts the rest of the economy, it hurts my team at a time when we need better prices. This creates a monopoly on steel for a couple of steel companies who are planning a merger. I am upset that we are attacking American companies who have won the market by serving customers and giving them what they want as we all vote with our dollar and then the government creates monopolies at the same time. So of course monopolies are Good as long as the government creates them. We are glad to see that these steel companies are now able to produce steel now that the prices are up, yet some of these steel mills are closed to sell their energy contracts to other companies and stay closed, thus who are we helping? Certainly not my team; we will now see jobs for cars and etc move to Mexico and China this would also be for tractors and heavy industry trucks and trailer manufacturers.

If we help one industry temporarily and then give away jobs and factory capacity to other countries for no reason. We are tilting more than one field by doing this. As a matter of fact we are not going to stand for these increases at all. Screw that, it affects our team at a time when we are creating jobs and all of us entrepreneurs are trying to dig ourselves out of the recession. It is good to see that administration was able to re-look at this issue as early as July to lower the import tax and eventually get rid of it soon after in that first year of increased tariff taxes. Then we can get the entire South American countries on our team as trade partners, we may need them.

As far as orange juice, we can justify restrictions for reasons of fruit flies, but for steel, I am not sure we can justify this now because we did not sign the Kyoto Treaty and now we are stating we cannot buy Brazilian steel due to the methods of manufacturing hurting the environment, hypocritical tactic, we should not go there. Besides we have technology, cheap technology to prevent these pollutants anyway, all we need to do is see they are in place and let them into the market to keep our steel industry on their feet and from getting lazy, costing our manufacturing of truck beds too much, thus hurting our ability to create jobs by giving our team the incentive to realize a fair profit in a time when many small companies are going out of business and large ones skipping the nuisance of paying bills in their accounts payable departments by filing bankruptcy, Kmart, PG&E, Enron, Global Crossing and others in the news lately. We cannot dig out America if we are continually forcing more costs on other industries that need help too. Such as the truck building industry, rail car industry, even garbage truck construction is down 30%, school buses, bridges and infrastructure. Steel is used for lots of things and there is significant volumes; what was the problem with the industry that they could not make a profit if they had a little competition? Strong survive and that is a fundamental basic of free markets. Think about it.


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