Technology, Trade, and Survival in a Global Market
The steel industry occupies a strategic position in the globaleconomy. Steel is a major, heavily traded commodity whose availabilityis necessary for worldwide economic development. Yet, with theintroduction of new technologies and producers, particularly China, theindustry has become volatile. Prices fluctuate, the industry isvulnerable to oversupply, and the cost structure encourages volatileprices.
Big Steel explores how the integrated steel industry isadapting to trade and international competition. The unexpected mergerof the world’s two largest steelmakers, Arcelor and Mittal,portends massive consolidation as a strategy to diversify markets andstabilize a globalizing industry. Daniel Madar examines theindustry’s tactical and strategic responses and the repercussionsof innovation from various vantage points, including cost structuresand technology, export pricing strategies, the economics of tradeprotection, and Paul Krugman’s Nobel Prize-winning explanation ofindustrial diffusion and trade. Along with the survival strategies ofconsolidation and protectionism, Madar considers close co-operationbetween steelmakers and their primary customers, the automakers.
Presented in a straightforward, non-technical manner, this bookdescribes how one strategic industry has adapted to powerfultechnological and structural changes, ushering in a new phase in theglobal steel business.
Big Steel explores an industry that has been in near continual transformation for a generation or more and captures the shape and structure of these changes. Perhaps even more significantly, it makes the case that developments in the new millennium denote a new phase in the global steel business, which portends even more dramatic changes of behaviour and performance.
Daniel Madar is a professor of political science atBrock University and author of Heavy Traffic: Deregulation, Trade,and Transformation in North American Trucking.
2 A Tough Industry
3 Prices, Preferences, and Strategy
4 Trading Steel
6 Steel in a Global Perspective
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