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AISC Joins American Scrap Coalition

AISC, CRSI Call for Immediate Action on Foreign Trade Barriers

August 07, 2008 From American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) have joined the American Scrap Coalition (ASC), and both institutes urged strong, immediate government action to eliminate the taxes and other market barriers that numerous offshore governments maintain on their exports of steel scrap. The American Scrap Coalition (www.scrapcoalition.com) now includes industry associations representing more than 3,200 companies.

“Rising scrap costs are beginning to have a chilling effect on the construction industry and the U.S. economy in general,” stated Roger E. Ferch, president of AISC. “The growing use of steel scrap export taxes by foreign governments is artificially increasing the cost of steel scrap in the U.S. and driving up domestic costs unfairly and in an anti-competitive way.”

“Our fabricator members are being squeezed by scrap and other raw material costs,” said Bob Risser, president and CEO of CRSI. “They have long-term projects with established pricing, but their costs have increased tremendously. They are not only losing money, but in some cases their companies are threatened.”

The American Scrap Coalition includes industry associations representing more than 3200 steel scrap consuming companies, who are calling on Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department to immediately address scrap trade barriers. The Coalition has identified several priority issues:

  • Identify and remove barriers to trade in steel scrap, which hinder U.S. companies and global competition;
  • The U.S. carbon steel industry recycled approximately 75 million tons of ferrous scrap last year, with approximately 80 percent of that scrap consumed in Electric Arc Furnaces. Recycling scrap metal is the most efficient way to make steel, and therefore results in the lowest level of greenhouse gas emissions. The American Scrap Coalition will support and promote policies to encourage the recycling, recovery and use of recycled scrap material in production of new steel products.
  • Consider actions by Congress, the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to remove trade barriers.


Companies and industries wishing to join the American Scrap Coalition can register at www.scrapcoalition.com. The website contains additional information on scrap trade barriers, import and export levels and prices.

In July, ASC released its newly compiled list of foreign trade barriers to steel scrap, and called for the removal of these barriers. The Coalition identified more than 25 countries that have imposed barriers on the trade of steel scrap and other raw materials, harming U.S. companies and their workers.

According to Tom Danjczek, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association, the U.S. government has long rejected imposing export restrictions on U.S. scrap and has instead focused on removing foreign trade barriers. “If that is still the case, it is now time for the U.S. Government to get serious,” Danjczek stated in an ASC release.

In particular, the Coalition singled out Russia’s recent announcement that it plans to raise export tariffs on steel scrap from the current 15% level to 120-130 euros ($191-$207) per metric tonne. Price called this announcement “a giant, unacceptable step backward.”

Other countries imposing scrap export bans or particularly heavy export taxes include: Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Argentina, India, and Ukraine. The Coalition’s complete list of barriers is available at: www.scrapcoalition.com under “Latest News.”

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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