impact of import discussions of structure and domestic firm


Overview of Impact of Imports
Discussions of structure are usually concerned with
domestic firms, but foreign firms can also influence competitive conditions within an industry. Competition from imports
has had a substantial impact on the steel industry. Table 2.24
indicates the relative importance of exports and imports to the
u.s. steel industry. Prior to 1959, the United States was a
substantial net exporter of steel mill products. Though imports
were increasing during the late 1950's, in 1958 they amounted
to only 1.7 million net tons, representing 2.9 percent of the
.domestic market. In 1958, the United States exported 2.8
million net tons of steel. The first major foreign penetration of the U.S. market occurred in 1959, partly as a result of the
steel strike which lasted 116 days.

 Domestic users of steel
began ordering from foreign sources to assure themselves of
steady deliveries and adequate supplies. U.S. exports dropped
to 1.7 million net tons and imports surged to the unprecedented
height of 4.4 million net tons. For the first time in the 20th
century, the United States turned from a net exporter to a net
importer of steel. The gap between imports,~nd exports rose
steadily throughout the sixties. Apparent steel consumption
taken by imports rose from 4.7 percent in 1960 to 16.7 percent
in 1968. Since 1960, exports of steel by U.S. producers have
fluctuated between about 2 million and 7 million tons per year.
Another element of the import si tuation is the importance
of foreign manufactured goods that contain large amounts of
steel. Indirect trade in steel consists of trade in vehicles,
machinery, and other equipment manufactured from steel. The
importance of indirect trade in steel should be emphasized.
During the period 1962-73, indirect imports increased from 1.2
million net tons to 5.2 million net tons. The United States'
balance of indirect steel trade became negative in the late
1960's, and in 1973 reached a minus 1,257,000 tons of finished
steel. ~/

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