NEW YORK Armor plate used by the U.S. military must be produced entirely in the United States, according to a Department of Defense (DoD) notice reinstating a 35-year-old requirement that the material be melted and finished in the United States in order to be deemed "domestically produced."
"This is a win for our military and for American companies like ArcelorMittal (USA LLC) ... and Nucor (Corp.) that make steel for our military right here in the United States," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said in a statement. "We know how to make steel armor plate here in America, and theres no reason why countries like China and Russia should be making the steel used in our militarys vehicles and equipment."
The Defense Department loosened the definition of "domestically produced" in 2009 because it believed there wasnt enough domestic material available to produce armor that went into mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles. The amended rule included steel that had only the secondary manufacturing steps completed in the United States.
Domestic steel sources said the decision is "extremely positive" for the industry.
"The actions support the U.S. steel industry, (the) U.S. jobs market and U.S. national security. Our great steel mills have the capacity to make the steel and our work force has the skill to produce the product," Brian Robbins, chief executive officer of Perry, Ohio-based MidWest Materials Inc. and executive vice president of the National Association of Steel Distributors, said. "This is a step in the right direction to support the domestic steel industry and American manufacturing."