NEW YORK In the weeks and months leading up to Tuesdays presidential election, metals producers and distributors said they were putting a cap on capital spending as they awaited more clarity on the future of the regulatory climate.
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., for example, reigned in spending for 2012 by an estimated $75 million to $100 million, an executive told AMM, a trend that chairman and chief executive officer David Hannah largely attributed to uncertainty on such issues as taxes and the regulatory environment.
"We dont know what the rules are going to be," Hannah said at an industry event in late October (amm.com, Oct. 31).
Others agreed, noting that they were delaying investments or large inventory builds until they had more foresight into the results of the presidential race.
I think getting the election behind us is important to know where we stand, one steel plate buyer told AMM during the final days of the campaigns (amm.com, Oct. 25).
But now that President Obama has been named the victor in Tuesdays election, this wait-and-see mentality adopted by the metals sector in recent months may be coming to a close. But at what pace and to what degree remains to be seen.
Join the discussion: how is your company responding to the news of Obamas successful White House bid? How will your spending and investment plans change as a result? Was the election as big a factor as some said in recent decision-making, or was it just a convenient excuse to stop buying at a time of lackluster demand?
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