US political gridlock, aging infrastructure challenges for aluminum

Oct 30, 2013 | 03:19 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Reliance Steel & Aluminum, David Hannah, ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, Hans-Josef Hoss, Brad Soultz, Novelis, 3-D printing, infrastructure education

PALM BEACH, Fla. — While the future might be bright for aluminum, the sector continues to grapple with a host of challenges, including political gridlock in the United States, the country’s aging infrastructure and the race to build capacity to meet expected demand, industry executives said.

New rules, once in place, can be planned for and appropriate business decisions made, David H. Hannah, chairman and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., said. But political theater in Washington has slowed policy-making and increased uncertainty, which hurts business.

"It’s when these (regulations) are being kicked around. ... It’s that uncertainty that can stifle business development," Hannah said during a chief executive officer panel discussion at the Metals Service Center Institute’s aluminum products division conference in Palm Beach, Fla.....

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