What I discovered about Chinese steel may surprise you and free China of another popular Sinophobic American myth. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Evidently, this American Constitutional right does not apply to China or the Chinese.
From InfoPlease.com, I learned the U.S. produced about half of the world’s steel in 1945.
“After World War II,” InfoPlease.com said, “the U.S. steel industry faced increased competition from Japanese and European producers, who rebuilt and modernized their industries. Later, many Third World countries, such as Brazil, built their own steel industries, and large U.S. steelmakers faced increased competition from smaller, nonunion mills (“mini-mills”) that recycle scrap steel. …”
A recent CRS Report for the US Congress said, “China’s steel industry has grown significantly since the mid-1990s. China is now the world’s largest steelmaker and steel consumer. In 2009, China produced over 567 million tons of crude steel, nearly half of the world’s steel. That was 10 times the U.S. production.”
However, CRS reported, “The majority of Chinese steel has been used to meet domestic demand in China.”
Today, the United States is in third place while Japan is the second largest producer of steel. Source: Index Mundi.com
In fact, the United States steel industry exports steel to China. For example, in 2004, the US exported 8 million tons of steel to China up from 5 million tons in 2000 and by 2010, China was buying $34.5 billion in steel from countries such as the US, Australia, and Brazil to meet its domestic needs.
John Surma, president and CEO of US Steel Corp, said, “China generally has been good for our industry.”
Meanwhile, we learn from Qingfeng Zhang writing for Perspectives that the United States produces approximately 80% of its domestic steel demand…
In addition, the US imports finished steel products from a large number of countries. The EU has been the biggest exporter with about five-million tons shipped to the United States in 2001. Canada is the second largest exporter shipping four-million tons, followed by South Korea (2 million tons), Japan (1.8 million tons) and Mexico (1.5 million tons).
China does import steel to the US. The US Department of Commerce reported, “U.S. imports from China represent a total of 4.9% (four “point” nine percent) of all U.S. steel imports.” In 2010, steel imports to the U.S. totaled 23.9 million tons while America produced nearly 88.5 million tons of steel between January and December 2010.
You do the math and decide, “Does the US depend on China for steel to meet domestic demand?”
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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