Business: Steel's Deal

Aid for an ailing industry

Big Steel has big problems. The nation's mills are currently operating at only 66% of capacity, while the U.S. imports nearly 17% of its steel. In the first eight months of 1980, domestic mills produced an estimated 35 million tons for U.S. consumption, while imports totaled 10.6 million tons. Blue-collar employment in the industry has slumped from a high of 544,000 in 1953 to 264,000 in July. Profits of four of the five leading steel companies are expected to decline sharply this year.

It was, therefore, with an air...

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