Get a grip, processors insist, there is no scrap crisis

Nov 01, 2008 | 05:10 AM |

For scrap processors, claims by steel mills about "a crisis situation with respect to steel scrap" amount to a recycling of memories from 2004 and, for old-timers, from 1979 and 1973.

Efforts to obtain government intervention in tight scrap markets in the 1970s were successful the first time, when temporary export ceilings were set, but unsuccessful the second. The 2004 mini-mill initiative faded when participants couldn't agree on whether to seek U.S. Commerce Department intervention, either for export controls or formal monitoring.

Today, the American Scrap Coalition (ASC) is pushing for U.S. trade negotiators to fight for the removal by other nations of their export taxes and quotas. The group, comprised of U.S. mini-mills, argues that such hurdles send Asian and European scrap buyers to U.S. markets instead of countries closer by.

The ASC declines to specify its legal strategy beyond saying it might ask the U.S. Trade Representative "to take action against one or more countries with particularly egregious barriers."....

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