In 2004 the U.S. saw a 55% increase over 2003 in finished steel imports to 28,304,000 net tons. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the 2004 percentage gain for finished steel imports was more than three times the 15.9 % increase in steel consumption. As a result, finished steel import market share rose from 16.0 to 21.2%.
"Imports in 2004 were up dramatically, and there is sufficient availability of steel in the U.S. market, " stated John P. Surma, president and CEO of The United States Steel Corporation and chairman of AISI."The industry has taken a lot of positive steps as market conditions have improved, but much remains to be done to complete needed investments and keep the momentum going."