Seven questions to Katherine Tai about China: steel production

China‘s steel production has flooded the world market, seriously affecting US companies, said Katherine Tai, the US trade representative.

Indeed, what follows is a series of arguments that Tai made as part of a speech delivered this Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

First, in 2000, there were more than 100 American steel companies.

At the time, America’s steel production was 100 million metric tons of steel a year.

And the industry employed 136,000 people in communities across the country that same year.

But later, China began to build its own steel plants. Its production capacity soared, depriving US steel companies of valuable market opportunities.

Thus, Tai continued, “Chinese low-priced steel flooded the global market, driving out business in the United States and around the world.”

Steel production

Every steel plant that closed left hundreds of workers without a livelihood. It also left communities reeling, as small businesses that relied on plants also closed their doors and ruined buildings reduced the value of real estate.

“Even with the phase-one agreement in place, China’s government continues to pour billions of dollars into targeted industries and continues to shape its economy to the will of the state, hurting the interests of workers here in the U.S. and around the world” Tai accused.

Today, China produces more than 1 billion metric tons per year and accounts for almost 60% of world steel production.

China produces more steel in a single month than the United States, and most other countries in the world produce in an entire year.

Furthermore, in the United States, employment in the steel industry has fallen 40% since 2000.

Global steel production rose 14.4% year-on-year in the first half of 2021, to 1 trillion 003.9 billion tonnes, World Steel reported.

Globally, the world’s steel production increased by 55 million metric tons in 2019, to 1 trillion 869,000 million metric tons.

Likewise, capacity has continued to increase, with notable changes in the 2019 Chinese crude steel production of 996 million metric tons, an increase of 8.3% over 2018 and is estimated at more than 76 million metric tons above the apparent demand for crude steel in China.


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