Big Steel Is Red Hot Again

So why do mills want barriers against foreign competition?

As if he were playing with a child's Erector Set, the crane operator maneuvers a ladle filled with 230 tons of molten iron toward a giant furnace and pours into its maw a glowing glob of 3000 degrees F metal. After 45 minutes in the oxygen-fired furnace, the iron turns into liquid steel, which a computer-controlled casting machine quickly forms into slabs 40 ft. long. Presto! In just 3.8 worker-hours, one-third less than the U.S. industry's average, this modern plant has produced a ton of steel. It is one of the most efficient mills in the world, but this one is...

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