STLtoday – Business – Story: “President George W. Bush put tariffs on imports in March 2002 after domestic makers complained that the cheap steel was making it impossible for the U.S. industry to compete.
While the tariffs were in place for 20 months, the industry consolidated. It merged most resources into three large players and several smaller companies, all burdened by less debt and fewer obligations to retired workers.
‘In essence, the industry strengthened itself from within to become more globally competitive,’ Gravatt said. ‘What was really interesting was this wave of global demand really began to take off right around the time the tariffs were removed.’ “