The Steel Crisis: The Economics and Politics of a Declining Industry

By William Scheuerman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

5
Instrumental Politics and the Trade Act

Conventional lobbying still exists. . . . But there is also 'high level lobbying.' All over the country the corporate leaders are drawn into the cycle of the high . . . political through personal friendship, trade and professional associations and their various subcommittees, prestige clubs, open political affiliation, and customer relationships.

C. Wright Mills

The final year of the second Voluntary Restraint Agreement witnessed a worldwide boom in the demand for steel that drove profits to a postwar high. In 1974 domestic steel producers collectively returned 16.9 percent on equity. This followed on the heels of a solid return of 9.5 percent on equity for 1973. In fact, by 1973 steel imports had decreased from a 1971 high of 17.9 percent of all domestic consumption to only 12.4 percent of total consumption. 1 The temporary prosperity of 1973 and 1974, however, obscured the fact that steel's productive abilities in relation to foreign producers had declined significantly since the establishment of the first VRA in 1969.

The data reveal the extent of steel's productive decline during the VRA period. For 1969 U.S. steelmakers expended 12.95 worker-hours for every metric ton of steel produced; it took Japanese producers 15.07 worker-hours to make the same amount of steel. By 1975 the relationship had changed. Japanese producers could now produce a metric ton of steel in 10.09 worker-hours, but U.S. steelmakers still needed 12.04 worker-hours to turn out the same amount. 2 This decline in productivity was exacerbated by the high wages of U.S. steel

-98-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Steel Crisis: The Economics and Politics of a Declining Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 221

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?