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A Profile of the Steel Industry by Peter Warrian

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Chapter 7

Steel Trade Flows and Trade Disputes

Steel along with agriculture were the two industries most frequently afflicted by trade disputes in the postwar global trading system of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Business news in the 1970s and 1980s was dominated by trade conflicts between U.S. Steel producers and Japan. Disputes with Europe were also common.

Why do steel trade conflicts get so much air time and drama?

Steel has been and remains a very cyclical industry. It makes an intermediate product. Therefore, decisions of others impacting things such as auto demand or decisions on capital investment in construction hugely affect the net demand for steel. These normal business cycle factors have in the past, however, ...

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