Chesterton Tribune



Steel industry wants infrastructure money in next bailout bill

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Five steel industry groups are lobbying Congress to include “significant infrastructure investment” in the next phase of COVID-19 stimulus legislation.

“American businesses will not likely feel the full economic impact of COVID-19 until later this year, as social distancing and shelter-in-place measures undoubtedly save lives but continue to slow economic activity in the manufacturing and construction sectors,” the groups said in a letter to Congressional leaders. “Making a long-term and robust infrastructure investment now will not only respond to the urgent transportation system needs that are well known but it also will create high-paying jobs allowing businesses and families to recover from this extremely difficult economic shock.”

The letter--written by the American Institute of Steel Construction, American Steel and Iron Institute, Steel Manufacturers Association, the Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports, and Specialty Steel Industry of North America--notes that 38 percent of the nation’s 616,000 bridges are in need of replacement or rehab, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s national bridge inventory.

“With such a staggering backlog of substandard bridges, there is significant opportunity to put Americans back to work and back on the road to economic recovery,” the groups added. “We can improve quality of life in our cities, towns, and rural areas and drive commerce and supplies across our nation by making infrastructure investment a critical component of the next stimulus package by including Buy America provisions and using domestically produced and fabricated steel.”

The infrastructure supply chain for steel products used in highway and bridge construction begins with American steel producers, the groups said, “who have revolutionized the industry by developing clean and efficient steelmaking processes at mills located strategically throughout the country.” The steel produced is then sold directly or through national distributors to construction companies and to approximately 1,000 American steel fabricators who have built plants and created jobs in nearly every Congressional district in the U.S.



Posted 4/2/2020




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