U.S. steel prices increase by double-digit percentages

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Spurred by new trade tariffs, U.S. steel prices have increased by double-digit percentages this year while foreign steel prices dropped, a trade research firm has found.

A new American Steel Index report by Business Forward Inc. said tariffs increased the prices on American-made, hot- and cold-rolled steel 11 percent since February. In contrast, prices on foreign steel fell 4.8 percent on average, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Business Forward, which tracks a host of trade issues including the North American Free Trade Agreement and its pending replacement, began analyzing the effect of trade tariffs in March.

“As a result, U.S. manufacturers are paying 15.8 percent more for hot- and cold-rolled steel, on average,” the report said.

For the boating industry, that translates to higher costs for stainless steel components, according to boatbuilders such as Sabre and Back Cove Yachts.

“We decided midyear to increase our prices by 3 percent, which we never do midyear,” Sabre marketing and sales vice president Bentley Collins told Trade Only Today in September. “The cost to us — our stainless steel rails are $100,000 extra. It’s killing American jobs.”

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