Chinese Mill Isn't Free Enterprise

August 2, 2010
The Wall Street Journal (Letter to the Editor)

Your editorial "The More Expensive Steel Caucus," (July 29) is a startling departure from your allegiance to letting market forces driven by private enterprise dictate economic progress. Your own Asia edition's article of July 28 points out that Anshan Iron and Steel Group's move into America is "Chinese state-owned industrial money, operating largely for strategic and political aims," and is an investment that doesn't need to respond to market forces or "economic logic." Handwriting on the wall? By allowing Chinese state-controlled, subsidized and directed industrial policy (clearly written in their State Council of the PRC Steel and Iron Industry Development Policy) to be exported into the U.S. market, you can say goodbye to thousands of high-value, private-sector manufacturing jobs in one of America's backbone and strategic industries.

The national security concerns voiced by the Congressional Steel Caucus, which you dismiss, are very real. If approved by the administration, the Anshan deal could provide the Chinese government with direct access to, and information about, current and future U.S. infrastructure, energy and defense projects that may be critical to our homeland security and national defense.

We urge the Journal to recognize the harmful economic and national security implications of the Anshan investment and to return to its core economic belief that the U.S. economy should be based on the principle that private companies allocate capital and resources more efficiently than governments.

Thomas J. Gibson
President and CEO ,
American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington

Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115