STEEL: Another Squeeze

The tight steel supply was given another squeeze last week. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer ordered 102,500 tons a month set aside for military orders under the voluntary allocation program. That made a total of 10% of U.S. steel production now allocated for priority industries.

Moreover, the order contained a new provision that would intensify the shortage. Companies with military orders can henceforth be allocated steel to fill those orders even though they may already have enough steel on hand. The House Small Business Committee insisted on this provision, so that little companies would not have to use up their...

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