US Steel prices have cost franchisees in my company and our team thousands of extra dollars due to the import taxes, which were imposed. Let me tell everyone when they raised the cost of steel we were forced to seek to build the truck beds out of other materials, and once businesses do that many times they never go back and thus the steel industry is forever damaged. Steel is a strong substance and good for building things out of but it is heavy, costs gas mileage, rusts, leaving iron oxide streaks on the exterior paint. The only reason steel is still used for so many things is that the cost is still less than other materials of it’s same strength, watch out in the future for nano tubes, five times lighter, three to 100 times stronger by volume.
If the steel companies in this country cannot run more efficient and get their labor unions to perform efficiently to compete with these future materials then we cannot expect other industries to use it as the material of choice. In our company, we can build the beds out of fiberglass, plastic or composite in the future nano-tubes. In our company we will be able to build uni-body shells and make them more ascetically pleasing. So when International Trade Team negotiators or an administration decides to set forth import taxes or artificial price increases to save an industry they need to be careful that they do not inadvertently hurt other industries.
The steel industry better get their act together if they wish to survive the next two decades or start investing in the new materials themselves. We need Brazil as a trading partner, we need Japan’s economy to return to growth, which is a tough one due to their aging demographic. We should not give a crutch to an industry that is not innovative and lets their workers kick back and do little if any work. Likewise we should not expect such a huge and able workforce to work with their hands tied behind their backs with over regulation such as the insanity of the OSHA standards and laws. Their union is strong and they do not believe in hard work ethic like the competition in their industry from abroad, and all methods are challenged in free markets. We should not support laziness and give a company or small group of companies an edge. Giving away free fish makes even the best of us lazy.
Let’s get our trade policies right? Let’s not make asinine linear decisions with trade. We are all in this together and in free markets survival is about performance, if you have a weak industry and you help them stay lazy they will be moved aside eventually anyway, you cannot hold up inefficient industries forever. I am sure if you go to the library and read up on it you will agree. I know Carnegie would if he were alive still. Think about it.
“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs