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Steel Prices: How we got here and what could happen

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Ox

Diamond
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West Unity, Ohio
Here is another writ taken straight from The Fabricator magazine.
The whole June (?) issue is mainlined on the current steel price and availability theme.
As a machinist, and not a fab shop, usually I can browse through a copy of The Fabricator pretty quickly, but this issue has taken a long time to finally git through.

I mostly git the magazine as it comes along with a subscription to The Stamping Quarterly, or whatever the current name is these days.

Let's see if we can keep personal insults at bay for a few days eh?




Steel prices: How we got here and what could happen


[h=1]Steel prices: How we got here and what could happen[/h][h=2]History suggests the steel tariffs were a bad idea; current events reinforce that notion[/h]

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A combination of increased demand and lack of supply has helped to drive up hot- rolled steel coil prices to more than $1,600/ton in May. Removing the Section 232 tariffs on imported steel and aluminum would provide price relief for steel consumers. Getty Images.
For more than 100 years, the federal government has been implementing quotas or tariffs on imported steel to support domestic steel producers. Historically, government action in the steel market arises in times of low steel prices as a means of supporting steel producers and marketed for political purposes to attract support from voters, particularly in the Rust Belt. As a result, steelmaking jobs might have been saved, but a far greater number of jobs in steel-consuming industries, including the metal fabrication sector, were lost. As with any tariff and quota action, the U.S. economy typically sees a net loss in jobs.
President George W. Bush’s steel tariffs began as a campaign promise to steelworkers in West Virginia. Tariffs ranging from 8% to 30% were established by the Bush administration in March 2002 and were intended to last for three years. At the time steel prices were at a historically low level in the U.S. The tariffs were not imposed on all imported steel and were not imposed on all countries exporting steel to the U.S. For example, Canada and Mexico were excluded because of NAFTA concerns and other countries, such as Argentina and Turkey, were exempted.
What started as a three-year tariff program was abandoned after 22 months because of the World Trade Organization’s decision that the U.S. was in violation of a WTO agreement and a threat from the European Union to impose new tariffs on U.S.-sourced goods.
The overall economic impact of the tariffs in the U.S. was a jobs killer. Although the steel industry added about 3,500 jobs, the rest of the manufacturing sector shed an estimated 200,000 jobs, some of which were related to manufacturers leaving the U.S. to secure lower-cost steel.
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The lesson learned here is that steel tariffs are driven by politics and that economics only matters to the extent it is impacting politics.
[h=2]The Steel Market in 2017[/h]To better understand the current steel market, it is helpful to look at what happened in 2017, the year before the 25% tariff on imported steel was imposed.
In 2017 nine operating integrated steel mills were left in the U.S., and they accounted for 32% of steel production. Integrated mills use iron ore as the primary raw material and blast furnaces to produce it. The remaining 68% of U.S. steel production was made in more than 100 mini-mills that use electric arc furnaces to melt iron and steel scrap to produce steel. Over the last few decades, mini-mills have increased their share of U.S. steel production at the expense of integrated steel mills. Mini-mills do not require the same capital outlay to start up, and their operating costs are much lower when compared to the integrated steel mills because of their production efficiencies. The U.S. has the most mini- mills of any country in the world, and our leadership in this area is impressive given that 75% of total world steel production is made using blast furnaces.
In 2017 the U.S. produced 81.6 million metric tons of steel and imported 34.6 million metric tons of steel from 80 countries and territories. If you exclude 2009, the year of the Great Recession, the level of steel imports in 2017 was just slightly above the average amount imported since 2005. Also in 2017 China was the 10th- largest exporter of steel to the U.S., accounting for only 2% of our imported steel. (Canada, Brazil, and Mexico were the top three.) This is remarkable because China produces one-half of all the steel made in the world, and it shows the effectiveness of the various trade restrictions that were already in place to address imported Chinese steel. For instance, up until that time, the U.S. had installed 16 antidumping duties and 12 countervailing duties against China.
In December 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Anticipation of this fiscal stimulus, which was in development throughout 2017, helped propel the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a 21.3% gain for the year as well as boost U.S. steel prices to a level near their five-year high. With this economic stimulus package in place, then President Donald J. Trump and his administration were well-positioned economically to tackle imported steel, a subject that was part of the election campaign.
[h=2]President Trump’s Steel Tariffs[/h]In March 2018 Trump announced that he was imposing a 25% tariff on all imported steel and a 10% tariff on all imported aluminum from most countries. In June, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union were added to the target list. This action was marketed as part of the administration’s America First economic policy to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, which in 2017 was nearly $800 billion in goods (excludes services).
Given Bush’s experience with steel tariffs, Trump’s intent to go down this same road intrigued me. Why do this when, other than for steel producers, there is such uniformly widespread opposition among economists and the business community for such tariffs? The National Taxpayers Union sent a letter to President Trump signed by over 1,100 economists urging him to reconsider his tariff plans. The University of Chicago surveyed 43 of the top economists and not a single one said the tariffs would be a net positive for Americans. Even the Aluminum Association, the trade association for aluminum producers, came out against the tariffs because of concerns over how this would impact their customers, which is probably why their industry received only a 10% tariff on imported aluminum rather than the 25% tariff imposed on imported steel.
Trump’s interest in steel may have had something to do with his relationship with Wilbur Ross, Trump’s U.S. secretary of commerce. To apply Section 232 tariffs on steel, the Commerce Department needed to undertake a review of the steel market and conclude that the amount of imported steel threatened to “impair national security” (a weak case at best because only 3% of domestically produced steel is used by the federal government for defense purposes). Well, that is what they concluded.
It turns out that Ross and Trump have a long history. In 1990 the bondholders of Trump’s Taj Mahal casino hired Ross to represent their interests when the casino was struggling to make bond payments. The prepacked bankruptcy deal Ross worked out created better terms for Trump on the debt and kept Trump in control in exchange for giving up a large portion of his stock in the casino. Years later Ross formed International Steel Group to acquire largely bankrupt integrated steel mills in the U.S., namely Bethlehem Steel, LTV Steel, and Acme Steel, which he ultimately sold to Mittal in 2005 for $4.5 billion. (Mittal evolved into ArcelorMittal, headquartered in Luxembourg, and is now the largest steel producer in the world.) ArcelorMittal later put Ross on its board of directors, until Trump named Ross his secretary of commerce. I’m not concluding there was malfeasance here or even implying it, just that this history makes for a nice coincidence. After all, domestic steel producers need to be economically viable too.
[h=2]Steel Tariffs Start a Global Trade War[/h]Although the 25% tariff on imported steel initially had the desired effect of increasing the steel price, it also had detrimental effects. It created an unprecedented spike in the cost of steel in the U.S. when compared to the rest of the world. It also started a global trade war.
Initially, increased economic activity from the December 2017 fiscal stimulus softened the blow of the steel price increase. However, such a large premium led some steel consumers to change their buying habits. (Some companies looked at material substitution, and others moved steel product purchases outside the U.S. to avoid higher material costs.) These events and a growing trade war that dampened manufacturing activity caused the domestic price for steel to fall in the summer of 2018 and continuing throughout 2019. In fact, during the second half of 2019, the manufacturing sector entered a recession with falling production. In November 2019 the Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. factory activity recorded its lowest reading in more than 10 years!
By year-end 2019, the price of steel in the U.S. was below pre-tariff levels even though the steel tariffs remained in place everywhere in the world except for Canada and Mexico and a few countries that had agreed to import quotas. This resulted in some steel production cutbacks and the outright announced closure of some steel mills, like U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works, months before COVID impacted the U.S. economy.
[h=2]The Perfect Storm Creates Record-high Steel Prices[/h]The current record-high steel prices are the result of a perfect storm. Steel tariffs reduced the amount of imported steel coming into the U.S., and some steelmakers shut down production last spring during the start of the pandemic. Then the U.S. government poured stimulus money into the country to pull the economy out of the COVID-19 doldrums.
The steel tariffs did have the desired effect of reducing the amount of steel coming into the U.S. In 2020 the U.S. imported 22 million metric tons of steel, which was roughly 30% lower than in 2018. In the first two months of 2021, steel imports were down another 7.5% when compared to the same period last year.
Unfortunately, domestic production isn’t offsetting the drop in imported steel. In February 2020 domestic steel production was around 1.9 million metric tons per week. By May it had fallen roughly 37%, hitting bottom at an average of 1.2 million metric tons per week. For the rest of 2020, steel production slowly and steadily climbed, closing the year at around 1.6 million metric tons per week. In April it averaged 1.75 million metric tons per week, which was still 8% below pre-COVID levels.
To offset the drag on the U.S. economy from the pandemic, Congress passed six major bills, costing about $5.3 trillion, in the 12 months since March 2020. Construction and the manufacturing sectors, where virtually all steel is consumed, are significant beneficiaries from this spending as they bounced back more quickly than other sectors such as travel, leisure, sports, entertainment, and even health care. The $5.3 trillion total is a lot of money in relation to the size of the U.S. economy ($20.3 trillion), the size of the manufacturing sector (slightly more than $2 trillion), and the size of the construction sector ($1.3 trillion). It doesn’t take much of a boost to these two sectors to make a sizable impact on the demand for steel.
The increasing demand for steel and reduced supply from lower domestic production and steel imports have reduced the inventory of steel on hand, resulting in its current sky-high price. For example, the June 2021 contract for steel has increased 185% from $568/ton last September to $1,620/ton in May. Steel is priced far above both the 2008 and 2018 peaks and is in the worst shape, from a supply basis, since at least the 1970s! Similar dynamics are at play in other critical raw material markets that were and still are subject to additional import tariffs from the previous administration. Prime examples are lumber and aluminum.
[h=2]What Happens Next?[/h]Will we see Congress and the Biden administration reach an epiphany regarding the wisdom of these tariffs on imported raw materials? This could easily happen in the next few months. Critical raw materials such as steel and lumber are in such short supply that they are creating severe disruptions in the manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as adding to inflationary pressures. This situation isn’t going to help the current administration’s objective of investing in infrastructure projects, which require large amounts of materials. The good news is that ending the tariffs is an easy thing to do. All it takes is one stroke of the president’s pen to order the end of them.
The tariffs were marketed to the American people as a way to reduce the merchandise trade deficit. The problem is, it didn’t. The trade deficit in goods (excluding services) was $750 billion in 2016; it increased 22% to $915.8 billion in 2020. In March the trade deficit set an all-time high monthly record.
Just as economists said, these tariffs on raw materials are bad public policy. What’s the justification to continue with them when the price for steel is at an all-time high? There isn’t any as they aren’t needed.
Looking at the steel futures market, as of mid-May it indicated yet higher prices for steel until October. Steel service center inventory levels are at historic lows, and mill lead times are double what they were a few years ago. If eliminated tomorrow, the steel tariffs would provide a psychological boost to dampening the steel price, but because of time lags, the removal of them likely wouldn’t improve steel supply for several more months.
Finally, the steel tariffs because of how they were conceived—placed only on imported raw material and not on fabricated metal products—are a disaster for U.S. producers of fabricated metal products, the fifth-largest sector of the manufacturing segment of our economy. Not only does our industry have to contend with the record cost of steel, but also with global competitors that have access to lower-cost materials. Our customers are not stupid, they know this, and it forces fabricators into a position of deciding how much of this cost to pass on to the customer. Passing along too little of the increased costs creates operating losses and destroys capital in our business. Pass along too much and watch our customers move their purchases to suppliers outside the U.S.
The tariffs are bad, too, for the long-term future of U.S. steel mills. If the industry isn’t careful, the only one left standing to buy their steel will be our federal government for public works projects because everyone else using steel will have left the U.S.!

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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
the big player around here is nucor. They announced record profits and planned deferred maintance at their quarterly report. Nice nod to improving stokeholders value, with future risk of rising wages. They have shut both Blytheville and Memphis mills to 1 1/2 running shifts a day. They are posting general jobs now at 15.50 an hour to compete with fed ex/amazon/dhl new minimum starting wages; hopefully signaling a start of the second/third shift running of the mills. The lead times now are 7 -14 weeks because production is so low. We can only quote the cost to customers, but with such long lead times quotes are big risk.
Structural shop, so steel cost are a huge portion of job, a nickel a pound is win big loose big on processing work.
 

standardparts

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Reading the article----tariffs:
Bush 30%
Obama 25%
Trump 25%
Biden 25%

So if all this OK with the unions, why would a politician risk losing union votes by eliminating the tariff?

And...The tariffs go to the treasury which gives the Gov't more to spend. Seems that the increased revenue would be a good thing.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Reading the article----tariffs:
Bush 30%
Obama 25%
Trump 25%
Biden 25%
If nothing else, you lie consistently. What the article says is, under Bush tariffs between 8 and 30% were enacted but Mexico and Canada were exempted. Mexico and Canada are two of the biggest suppleirs to the US. China accounts for 2% of imported steel.

Out of 8 years of Bush administration, these tariffs lasted less than two and caused massive job losses in related fields.

It says nothing about Obama.

Then as a repeat act, the brilliant 25% Trump tariffs have once again caused chaos and massive losses everywhere except at Mr Wilbur Ross'es house. He appears to be making good money out of the deal.

Yeah, it's "the unions" fault.

No idea what Biden's opinion is but I am pretty sure what would happen the instant he dropped these tariffs .... this prediction is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Speaking of shooting, foot ? meet bullet. Ouch ! Okay, better make the other one match, we wouldn't want a limp. Ouch !
 

Scruffy887

Titanium
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Location
Se Ma USA
US imposed huge lumber tariffs on Canada because of cheap Canadian lumber hurting domestic forest industry. Canada lumber mills invest in high efficiency modern mills and come right back into the market with very competitive prices. Domestic mills suck wind because of outdated equipment. They wanted profits without investment.
Some articles I have read about steel are the same.
 

standardparts

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
If nothing else, you lie consistently. What the article says is, under Bush tariffs between 8 and 30% were enacted but Mexico and Canada were exempted. Mexico and Canada are two of the biggest suppleirs to the US. China accounts for 2% of imported steel.

Out of 8 years of Bush administration, these tariffs lasted less than two and caused massive job losses in related fields.

It says nothing about Obama.

Then as a repeat act, the brilliant 25% Trump tariffs have once again caused chaos and massive losses everywhere except at Mr Wilbur Ross'es house. He appears to be making good money out of the deal.

Yeah, it's "the unions" fault.

No idea what Biden's opinion is but I am pretty sure what would happen the instant he dropped these tariffs .... this prediction is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Speaking of shooting, foot ? meet bullet. Ouch ! Okay, better make the other one match, we wouldn't want a limp. Ouch !

The article referenced, in my opinion which means little, is a bit selective in how it's author reports on the steel tariifs. It's possible the article reflected the authors interests as an owner in a steel fab business. It's also possible the author may have political views he wanted to inject into the discussion.

It would be interesting to know if his facility is union or non-union and which political party supports his best interests. The author has a lot of experience the metal industry so that must be aknowledged.


The United Steelworkers Union ("1.2 million members and retirees strong) along with various industry advocates support the continuation of "Trump Tariffs". So the support of tariffs by the largest industrial workers union in the U.S. is significant.

As to "no idea what Biden's opinion is"..Quite simple, look at the answers he supplied to the SteelWorkers Union to gain thier endorsement in the 2020 election. Biden pledged to continue Trump's 25% tariff and Biden has made good on that promise.

As a refresher, Obama was quite active in dealing with China on steel and other import issues. Not mentioned in the referencenced article is a long history of alleged steel dumping involving China, Europe, and other nations.

So, my apologies for any inaccurate points I posted. My personal opinion is that depending what words you plug into a search on the topic of steel tariffs it seems many contradictory opinions appear from those involved or most affected. Tariffs are a political hot potato. Also, my personal view is all administrations used steel to leverage other political goals, which at this time, climate change is at the top of the list.

At the end of the day it's probable that the best interests of the average American taxpayer are not at the top of list of priorities in regards to steel.
 

Dan from Oakland

Titanium
Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Location
Oakland, CA
Bottom line is my jaw drops every time I get a quote from a steel supplier. Just got a quote for 600# of 1018 flat bar and it was over $2.00/lb.

4140 round bar is fast approaching the same $2.00/lb. This is pretty close to a 100% increase from 12 months ago.
 

Doug

Diamond
Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Location
Pacific NW
I can't speak to steel pricing since I'm retired (or at least semi-retired). What I can say is in the last few years of working and buying CR1018 and 12L14 I could not have done the jobs that kick stated my business 30 some years ago. The recent 1018 machined more like 1090 and the mill finish and machinability of 12L14 was crap. All products from Nucor mills and the only things available from my local suppliers.
 

Big B

Diamond
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Location
Michigan, USA
Bottom line is my jaw drops every time I get a quote from a steel supplier. Just got a quote for 600# of 1018 flat bar and it was over $2.00/lb.

4140 round bar is fast approaching the same $2.00/lb. This is pretty close to a 100% increase from 12 months ago.

Those trump tariffs are working like a champ. For someone.
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
There are actually only something like 80,000 workers in steel mills in the USA. The rest of the 1.1 million members of the United Steelworkers Union work in other fields- including nuclear, forestry, rubber, transportation, mining, and even petroleum.
So the actual amount of votes in the air over tariffs are pretty small.

I think the tariffs are much more important to a handful of steel mill owners, like the above mentioned Wilbur Ross, than to any significant number of US manufacturing employees- at least, in terms of being in favor of tariffs. Far more manufacturing employees will be hurt by them.

Steel is an industry where we have not, historically, "lost" our domestic manufacturing to china.
Very little steel is imported from China, and its mostly stuff with such low margins that mills here dont care that much- rebar, black iron pipe, etc.
(There is a thriving rebar mill in McMinnville Oregon, but it was built by a company that owns a chain of auto junkyards, to add value to the scrap they buy)

We historically have made an average of about 70% of the steel we use for the last 40 years or so.
There are several new, state of the art mills in the USA that were built in the last ten or 15 years.
Cleveland Cliffs, a US company, is currently investing billions building the next generation of US steel mills, which will take US ore, and convert it to iron pellets, and make it usable by mini-mills with EAF, so they are not wholely scrap melting mills.

Steel, in general, is heavy enough that it usually makes sense to build mills where the market is.

So we are not in any real danger of losing our domestic steel producing ability, tariffs or no tariffs.
We will still need to buy some steel, no matter what- there are a fair amount of special alloys that are only made in one mill on earth- usually from Japan or Germany- and its not worth building a mill here to make them, as the global demand isnt enough to keep two mills running.

Simply getting rid of the tariffs will lower prices some, but because of shipping costs, we are still going to pay what it costs to make steel in the USA, for the majority of our consumption.
I had one job, a couple of years ago, where I needed 24,000 lbs of steel- basically in one order. It was for a government project, and they prefered, but did not absolutely demand, domestic steel.
I was able to source 80% of it domestically, but, for some reason, could only find T bar from Turkey. (It was about 5000 lbs of T, enough that my local distributor had to truck it in across the country anyway, but there was no US material to be found at that point).

Me, I voted for Biden, and I am against these tariffs. But he didnt ask me- No doubt, though, the steel industry lobbyists are getting their message thru to him.


Our Industries and Work Places | United Steelworkers
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
I doubt that we would ever need a "large amount" of tanks or ships in a hurry again, but it would be good not to be in need of product from your known rivalry.



Ries:

As for the Cleveland Cliffs facility, that is in Toledo and I think it is actually in operation by now.


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

boosted

Stainless
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Location
Portland, OR
Reading the article----tariffs:
Bush 30%
Obama 25%
Trump 25%
Biden 25%

So if all this OK with the unions, why would a politician risk losing union votes by eliminating the tariff?

And...The tariffs go to the treasury which gives the Gov't more to spend. Seems that the increased revenue would be a good thing.

Why would you pretend to summarize the article, and then make up your own figures? Holy shit - people like you suck.
 

standardparts

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Froom Ries......"There are actually only something like 80,000 workers in steel mills in the USA. The rest of the 1.1 million members of the United Steelworkers Union work in other fields-"

Yes, most unions are quite diversified as to the groups they represent but keep in mind all those "Steelworkers" even if they do not work in the steel industry pay union dues.

So even if only 50% of the rank and file vote for the union endorsed candidate for all practical purposes they have no say regarding who the union spends the money one. With the United Steel Workers it a huge chuck of money. It also includes plenty of volunteers to for get out the vote efforts.

If you an industry that is tied to a certain unions representation it's likely at the very lest you will spend political donations equally divided between parties.

Anyway....Considering that just over 10% of U.S. workers are union members the impact of a major union endorsement is huge. The unions and industry lobbyists feel tariffs are in their best interest so if they go away it will be to gain some type of good deal or concession.
 

standardparts

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Here's an article from the Washington Post that, I guess, adds some substance(?) to the article Ox linked in post #1.


"Even as supply lines strain, Biden is in no rush to scrap Trump’s steel tariffs"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/04/17/biden-steel-tariffs-trade/


BTW---I'd rather industry competes and is provided with material at the lowest possible cost. End the steel tariffs. How does everyone else feel? Tariffs. No Tariffs.
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
Bottom line is my jaw drops every time I get a quote from a steel supplier. Just got a quote for 600# of 1018 flat bar and it was over $2.00/lb.

4140 round bar is fast approaching the same $2.00/lb. This is pretty close to a 100% increase from 12 months ago.

Yikes, With 4140 I last paid $1.08 a pound for 300# of round in February 2021.
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
Froom Ries......"There are actually only something like 80,000 workers in steel mills in the USA. The rest of the 1.1 million members of the United Steelworkers Union work in other fields-"

Yes, most unions are quite diversified as to the groups they represent but keep in mind all those "Steelworkers" even if they do not work in the steel industry pay union dues.

So even if only 50% of the rank and file vote for the union endorsed candidate for all practical purposes they have no say regarding who the union spends the money one. With the United Steel Workers it a huge chuck of money. It also includes plenty of volunteers to for get out the vote efforts.

If you an industry that is tied to a certain unions representation it's likely at the very lest you will spend political donations equally divided between parties.

Anyway....Considering that just over 10% of U.S. workers are union members the impact of a major union endorsement is huge. The unions and industry lobbyists feel tariffs are in their best interest so if they go away it will be to gain some type of good deal or concession.

I have never been in a Union. Heck, I havent even been an employee since 1978, when I quit my day job to start my own business.
But I have had Union members in my family, and, surprise surprise, they range from left to right, and even libertarian, while still being in the Union.
And none of em just blindly voted for whoever the Union said- Archie Bunker was fictional, even 50 years ago when he first came on TV.
I had relatives then who were Union Ironworkers, and they voted for both republicans and democrats way back then in 1972.

Also, your 10% Union figure is half government employees, and half private industry.
And, of that half government, a huge slice is schoolteachers.
Who are not particularly informed or rabid about steel tariffs, so, again, I kinda doubt the Union suggestion of who to vote for is going to mean huge support among gym teachers for steel tariffs. I know most of my friends who are school teachers are not big followers of the Teamster voting recomendations, and our Teamster UPS driver has pink hair and piercings- she is probably not a mindless follower of the Bosses dictates either.
Our Union mailman has hair to his butt...
And you ought to see what Boeing Union Machinists look like now, in the 21st century.
Most of em actually read, and decide who to vote for on their own.
 

standardparts

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
I have never been in a Union. Heck, I havent even been an employee since 1978, when I quit my day job to start my own business.
But I have had Union members in my family, and, surprise surprise, they range from left to right, and even libertarian, while still being in the Union.
And none of em just blindly voted for whoever the Union said- Archie Bunker was fictional, even 50 years ago when he first came on TV.
I had relatives then who were Union Ironworkers, and they voted for both republicans and democrats way back then in 1972.

Also, your 10% Union figure is half government employees, and half private industry.
And, of that half government, a huge slice is schoolteachers.
Who are not particularly informed or rabid about steel tariffs, so, again, I kinda doubt the Union suggestion of who to vote for is going to mean huge support among gym teachers for steel tariffs. I know most of my friends who are school teachers are not big followers of the Teamster voting recomendations, and our Teamster UPS driver has pink hair and piercings- she is probably not a mindless follower of the Bosses dictates either.
Our Union mailman has hair to his butt...
And you ought to see what Boeing Union Machinists look like now, in the 21st century.
Most of em actually read, and decide who to vote for on their own.

A union endorsement is not only for the candidate but also the platform which includes many differant trades and professional groups. Most will be aligned with the AFL-CIO.

Of course a teacher or airline pilot may only have an understanding of the issues that affect them but political portion of thier dues and thier vote supports the complete party platform.

As far as what Boeing Union Machinists look like I would certainly expect to see a representative cross section of the population---just like most shops. The same goes for just about most workers.

If your a non-union shop and are doing skilled trade work on a jobsite being run by a significant union contractor how does that work?
 

Mcgyver

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Location
Toronto
The St Louis Fed graph is rather revealing - coil and sheet which is mostly what we buy. Most reports (written by economist at least) that I've been able to find suggest it will back down to historical levels and possibly over correct in short order. There has been no uptick in demand to justify it and most cite the cause a lag time for various reasons from previous production levels and an overreaction in cutting production in response to covid.

Sure has been a problem...in several lines we're seeing demand way down as customer balk at the price. 3/16 is the worst, Went from $0.40 cdn$ last summer for $1.40 plus, if you can find it.

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