US wire industry faces import pressure

Apr 16, 2013 | 04:14 PM | Samuel Frizell

Tags  Wire rod, steel wire, steel wire rod, Walt Robertson, Johnstown Wire Technologies, John Martin III, Mar-Mac Wire, wire imports Samuel Frizell

NEW YORK — The domestic steel wire industry has been hemorrhaging money for years due to imports, but the losses are difficult to quantify because there is no reliable way to track many imported products that contain steel wire, according to Johnstown Wire Technologies Inc. president Walt Robertson.

U.S. steel wire and wire rod production has declined because downstream products made of steel wire—such as barbecue grills, fans and toasters—are increasingly manufactured overseas, particularly in China, Robertson said. But the extent of those imports can’t accurately be measured.

It’s a complaint that many in the steel wire industry have expressed to AMM, with executives at a range of major U.S. wire fabricators saying that they have seen their customer bases fold under pressure from Chinese products.

"Why is our industry seemingly under such pressure? What’s wrong with this picture?" Robertson asked. "There’s a whole piece of this that has just taken the bloom off the rose, and taken so much volume away from the rod mills and the downstream wire producers. Their businesses are just a shadow of what they used to be." ....





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