Nucor And Steel Tariffs: A Manufacturing Match Made in Heaven

Are steel tariffs tearing up old alliances? Judging by the furious reactions on the international stage, the answer is yes. China, Canada, and the E.U. are hitting back hard with new tariffs on American products. In the midst of this global quarrel, however, American-headquartered steel manufacturer Nucor is investing millions in Arkansas and Florida manufacturing.

Arkansas: The new paradigm in steel

So, how do steel tariffs impact American manufacturing? First, the tariffs are crucial to correcting a trade imbalance between the United States and the rest of the world. Mid-2018 U.S. Census Bureau figures show that the U.S. trade deficit overall is already nearing $300 billion.

Nucor, America’s largest steel producer, has lauded the new steel tariffs. It maintains that the level playing field has exponentially increased its investment capabilities. Nucor will spend $240 million on a new galvanizing line at its sheet mill facility in Arkansas. This investment complements the $230 million the company is spending there on a specialty cold mill complex. The galvanizing line project is set to be operational by 2021 and will require the addition of approximately 100 employees to the current staff of 1,700 at four facilitates in the state. The mill is slated to have an annual capacity of half a million tons. Both Arkansas projects will produce advanced high-strength steel products.

Florida: The rise of rebar

Buoyed by penalties on foreign steel producers, Nucor has also turned its attention to Florida. In March 2018, the iconic company announced a $240 million investment in a new rebar micro mill in Frostproof in Polk County. Indications show the project will create about 250 new jobs with average annual salaries of $66,000 per employee. The mill is slated to be operational by 2020 and will accommodate a 350,000-ton annual capacity.

The Florida investment is also facilitated by ad valorem tax exemptions for new and expanding businesses in Polk County. To date, the Nucor project is one of the largest, most extensive manufacturing investments in the county. In turn, the upward trend in economic activity has led to rising consumer confidence.

Steel tariffs and U.S. manufacturing: The economic boom amid the global storm

Nucor’s investments are already transforming the American manufacturing landscape. Amid lower imports and the current administration’s promise to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure, the industry is poised to meet new demands for American steel. Additionally, new tax and regulatory measures have spearheaded growth in the industry. The manufacturing industry is poised to realize greatness gain.

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