Steel Protection in the 1980s: The Waning Influence of Big Steel?
NBER Working Paper No. 4760
The U.S. integrated steel industry has been very successful in securing import protection over the last 20 years. Critical to that success has been a cohesive coalition of steel producers, the steelworkers' union and 'steel-town' congressional representatives. The political strength of this coalition has diminished substantially over the last decade as the integrated steel industry has restructured and as domestic minimills have played an increasingly important role in the U.S. steel sector. In addition, an effective domestic coalition of steel-using industries acted as a critical counterweight beginning with the fight over a VRA extension in 1989. After 1989, quotas on steel were non-binding and the industry was largely unsuccessful in obtaining antidumping duties in its 1993 unfair trade petitions. These factors point to a diminished ability of the integrated steel industry to obtain special trade agreements in the future.