Why Buy American Steel?

March 23, 2021 | American Manufacturing, Quality Control

The American steel industry has shrunk over the past few decades, but that hasn’t lessened its impact or its ability to be a driving force behind the growth of American cities and infrastructure. Though the industry has faced challenges, much like America itself, American steel’s reputation for being strong and reliable, has allowed it to endure. The qualities that have allowed it to endure are the same reasons why industries still rely on it to build and support the projects they undertake. Marlin Steel has always used American steel and is proud to do so. It’s worth taking a look at the American steel industry to understand why.

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What is American Steel?

To understand American steel, and the importance of the steel industry, one would have to go back to the 1880s and the very early stages of the American Industrial Revolution. Without the steel industry, the explosive growth of American cities and industries would never have been possible. America was producing over 20 million tons of steel by 1910 and peaked in the 1960s with over 140 million tons produced. All of that steel formed the foundation of American infrastructure that erected our cities, connected our industries, automated our factories, and assembled our cars.

These days, the American steel industry looks a bit different. In fact, the U.S. is now the third largest producer of steel behind China and Japan, and produces about 29 million metric tons of steel each year, largely from iron and scrap steel rather than straight iron ore.

Despite the drop in production, the American steel industry is still the foremost producer of advanced high-strength steel and lightweight steel which have both revolutionized several industries. Further, American steel has done this while maintaining the highest safety standards in the world including a 70% reduction in OSHA reportable injuries since 2005.

What Industries Use American Steel?

America remains the largest consumer of steel. As with the origins of steel use, the industries who utilize most American steel today include construction and transportation. In short, we’re still building and connecting American cities with American steel. However, 14% of the world’s steel is used by the machinery and metal products manufacturing industry. That includes manufacturing businesses like Marlin Steel, who uses only American made steel to produce its stainless steel products.

How Does American Made Steel Impact the Manufacturing Supply Chain?

Even with little more than a rudimentary understanding of supply chain dynamics, common sense dictates that when the raw materials and supplies are closer to the manufacturer, the supply chain is more reliable, more consistent, and more cost effective. This is true with American steel. In fact, the recent issues in the Suez Canal demonstrate how one incident can impact multiple supply chains.

While the steel industry is facing other challenges, the steel supply chain was further impacted by the imposition of tariffs resulting in a higher demand for domestic steel as imported steel was more costly. Because the U.S. imports so much steel, and doesn’t produce nearly as much as it needs, the cost of domestic steel also went up. The response to all of the challenges from the steel industry involved mergers and acquisitions to open other markets and extend reach with efforts on not slowing production.

However, as noted above, the supply chain in the US is much shorter. It’s much easier to move goods from one place to another without having to coordinate logistics, particularly in a world struggling to contain a pandemic. In fact, many businesses and industries who’d been relying on cheap Chinese steel were suddenly short supplies with no information on when shipping would resume. Businesses, like Marlin who utilize American steel, saw some delays, but overseas imports are still suffering delays and issues. For that reason, working with American steel manufacturers, from a supply chain standpoint is good, smart business.

Why is American Made Steel Superior? 

As hinted above, one of the biggest threats facing American steel is the influx of cheap products. While we can tout the benefits of supply chain theory that illustrate the logic in terms of supply reliability, there are additional benefits to choosing American steel.

1. Quality

Simply put, American steel is higher quality. In fact, as far back as 2008 government leaders and those involved in the steel industry were warning that Chinese steel was inferior and posed a safety risk. Then, less than 10 years later, the U.K. issued the same warning, claiming that Chinese steel was a risk to construction projects and safety. The primary cause was the addition of boron and chromium to qualify as an alloy and receive tax rebates. However, the addition of these elements means that the quality of the steel is compromised and needs to be handled differently.

Further, American steel is subjected to rigorous safety tests not required in other countries, especially for steel used in the manufacturing and construction industries. In terms of safety and reliability, American steel is superior.

2. Better Environmentally

One of the advantages of utilizing scrap to manufacture steel as the U.S. steel industry often does is that it produces significantly less CO2 than iron ore production. Further, because it is manufactured in the U.S., the mills that produce and the companies that manufacture steel products are bound by U.S. environmental regulations. Because they are beholden to the U.S. government and the EPA, their environmental impact is less.

Further, the American steel industry continues to pursue methods for decreasing its environmental impact, particularly looking at emissions and ways to support sustainable building and growth.

3. The American Economy

The history of the steel industry is, truly, the history of the American economy, of American industry, success, growth, and pride in American made products. As skyscrapers rose from our cities and cars rolled off the assembly line, the American economy boomed. Even today, even with challenges and a decrease in production, American steel is a huge part of the American economy.

In fact, the steel industry accounts for $520 billion in economic output, and was responsible in 2017 for nearly 2 million jobs totaling $130 billion in wages and benefits and $56 billion in taxes for both federal and state governments. An investment in American made steel and steel products is an investment in the American economy.

Why Marlin Chooses American Steel

It’s really pretty simple. Marlin prides itself on providing the very best product available, and when what you need isn’t available? We make it. By following a fairly rigorous design and testing process we demonstrate our commitment to providing strong and reliable custom wire products to meet the needs of our customers. American steel provides us with the quality and reliability we demand and our customers deserve.

Further, Marlin Steel provides products for the industries that keep America moving and growing, from transportation to telecommunications, from medicine to food production. In much the same way as American steel built our automotive and aerospace industries, American steel should keep these industries growing and building by providing the best to those industries and the industries that support them.

Finally, Marlin values safety, and the American steel industry’s focus on creating a culture of safety is a shared value. When the values of sustainability, safety, reliability, and quality are shared, it’s easy to understand why Marlin would choose American steel.

If you’re ready to talk to our team about how our products can help your business processes work efficiently and effectively, get in touch with our team today.