INDUSTRY: From Boon to Boondoggle

In each of its past three wars, the U.S. has paid heavily for lack of a sizable domestic tungsten industry. Each time it has been gouged by foreign producers for the vital metal needed to toughen high-grade steels. After the Korean war, when world prices per standard 20-lb. unit leaped from $18 to $90, the Government finally began 1) stockpiling tungsten for defense and 2) fostering a domestic industry with a $30 million annual subsidy to buy U.S. tungsten at $63 per unit, about twice the world market price. Last week the tungsten subsidy was blasted from an unexpected...

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