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Steel Bridge Construction Unaffected by Steel Tariffs [INACTIVE]

April 19, 2002 From NSBA, Inc.

Golden Valley, MN – April 19, 2002 – Contrary to some media reports, the temporary tariffs recently imposed on selected steel products by President Bush are considered very unlikely to affect the steel bridge construction market, said Arun Shirole, Executive Director of the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA). Shirole pointed out that the problem the tariffs are meant to address – namely, repeated floods of cheap, unfairly traded steel imports – has not been a feature of the steel bridge market because Buy America rules governing federally funded bridge projects makes this a domestic competition for business. “Accordingly,” said Shirole, “we see the tariffs having most of their impact in markets other than construction.”

The bridge market has always been characterized by strong competition –between concrete and steel, and a vigorous competition among domestic suppliers of steel and steel fabricators. These competitive forces have worked consistently to keep price down, quality and service up and capacity growing in the steel bridge business for many years before the tariffs were imposed and there is nothing in the tariff remedy that alters that in any way.

While the NSBA has no opinion on what the price of steel or fabricating will be in the future Shirole does note that steel prices have remained very stable over the years and have, in some cases, dropped to twenty-year lows. The factors that affect steel prices and delivery times existed before the tariffs and have been governed by the market forces of supply, demand, access to capital, and competition between competing materials and within the steel bridge industry. All those factors remain in play and people familiar with the bridge construction market should feel completely at home in the current setting.

Shirole noted, in closing, that steel availability is currently at excellent levels with three new steel plate mills having added an estimated net 35% greater capacity to the market as compared to just three or four years ago.

For further information please contact A.M. Shirole, P.E. NSBA Executive Director @ 763-591-9099.

The National Steel Bridge Alliance, a division of the American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. is a unified industry organization of businesses and agencies interested in the development, promotion and construction of cost-effective steel bridges. The mission of the NSBA is to make steel the desired material of choice for bridges through marketing, technology, education and legislative action.


For more information contact:

Scott Melnick
VP of Communications
(312) 670-8314
[email protected]


American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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