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New Infrastructure Bill Could Generate More Momentum for American Steel

By Camille Grayson
on July 21, 2021

More good news could be coming for the American steel industry as it continues to rebound from the pandemic in impressive fashion.

The latest momentum boost for American manufacturing could soon come from a $715 billion infrastructure bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed in the Senate, this new legislation would drive even more demand for domestic steel mills.

Breaking down the bill

The goal of the five-year INVEST in America Act is to rebuild the nation’s aging infrastructure. This bill would provide $343 billion for roads and bridges, $109 billion for transit, $95 billion for passenger and freight rail, $117 billion for drinking water infrastructure, and $51.25 billion for wastewater infrastructure.

The passage of this bill could represent a big win for domestic manufacturing and cause for celebration among industry leaders. United Steelworkers International (USW) President Tom Conway expressed cautious optimism after the bill was passed by the House.

“The USW welcomes the House passage of the INVEST in America Act as a significant step toward repairing our nation’s critical infrastructure, making our communities safer and sustaining and creating millions of good jobs,” Conway said.

And according to Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, it’s not just steel that stands to benefit from the passage of this bill.

“By investing in infrastructure, we have the potential to create millions of new jobs, many of them good-paying, union jobs in manufacturing,” said Paul.

The timing couldn’t be better

The passage of this bill through the House comes during the steel industry’s impressive post-pandemic rally. National steel output is already up 16% in 2021, up 41% from this time last year. Currently, U.S. steel mills are operating at 83% utilization capacity. This time a year ago, they were operating at just 58.3% capacity.

The INVEST in America Act would only add more fuel to the fire for the industry’s revitalization. If passed, it would spark even more production and job creation in steel mills across the country.