In another telltale development, Bloomberg Business on Dec. 30 blew up the Obama Administration’s demand for 247% tariffs on Chinese steel products. The steel industry’s dramatic slump in 2015 has been due to the oil collapse, not China imports, according to … the U.S. Census Bureau. Census reported that foreign steel coming into the United States has dropped 36% from 2014 levels, with new import taxes on products from six countries. “Yet U.S. mills have idled the most capacity since the financial crisis, operating at just 61% in the week ending Dec. 21.” The reason: “Faltering demand for steel pipes and drill bits used in the energy industry. Previously, sales of high-margin products to oil and gas companies had helped shield U.S. mills from sluggish growth in construction and other industries.”

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