CURRENCY Buyers are suddenly walled off and without an option

Mar 01, 2008 | 01:29 PM |

There's little concrete data yet, but the first signs have surfaced that if the dollar remains low it might result in more business for small manufacturers. For now, though, the primary result of the soft greenback has been surging steel prices from a domestic steel industry virtually freed from import competition.

There are, for example, emerging signs of interest from European automotive component builders. Some of these manufacturers, who have been using their traditional European suppliers to support their U.S. plants, recently have been spurred to approach domestic suppliers to buy more locally due to the competitive dollar.

"They're trying to find opportunities to reduce costs and, in some instances, to move some overseas business to the United States," Neil D. Allen, president of Solid State Stamping Inc., Temecula, Calif., said. Allen's company supplies the automotive industry with copper and brass electrical contacts for such products as wire harness terminations, engine control modules, safety modules and airbag sensor modules. Accordingly, Solid State Stamping, which buys brass wire and strip and copper strip from service centers, has been quoting proposed supply programs for these manufacturers.....

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