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Chavez Takes Control of Iron, Steel Firms

Metal companies nationalized 'to build platform for socialism'

(Newser) - Hugo Chavez has ordered the nationalization of several large iron and steel companies in Venezuela, AFP reports. The president said the takeovers marked the start of a "process of nationalization to create an industrial complex." The move, which follows the nationalization of 39 oil service providers, would help...

US Benefits From China Stimulus

Construction in China boosts US business, from steel to fried chicken

(Newser) - While Americans await the fruits of their $787 billion bailout, China is moving ahead with public-works projects at a staggering pace, pumping up its own economy as well as America’s, the Wall Street Journal reports. US industrial-equipment makers, struggling with effectively zero domestic growth, are back near record levels...

Scientists Build a Better Web—by Adding Metal

(Newser) - Scientists have combined spider silk with metal atoms to boost web strands' already-phenomenal strength, reports Ars Technica. The breakthrough experiment advances the science of creating ever-stronger materials, as well discovering a successful method to bond metal to biological material. Experiments are already under way to make chicken eggs stronger.

Senate Dilutes 'Buy American' Plan

Amendment calls for stimulus plan to honor existing trade agreements

(Newser) - The Senate has voted to water down the "Buy American" clause in the economic stimulus package amid fears it could trigger a trade war, Reuters reports. The requirement that stimulus-funded projects use American-made iron, steel and manufactured goods now includes the proviso that it only be applied in a...

Big Biz Slams 'Buy American' Stimulus Clause

Exporters warn of foreign backlash if package erects free-trade barriers

(Newser) - American exporters are fighting to ditch "Buy American" provisions from the economic stimulus package, the Washington Post reports. The House version bars most foreign iron and steel from stimulus projects, while a Senate version calls for only American-made equipment and goods to be used in nearly all projects to...

Steel Industry Hopes Stimulus Will Forge Recovery

Execs want projects using American steel to be center of economic recovery

(Newser) - Leaders of America's sagging steel industry are hoping their operations will spearhead the economy's recovery with some major help from the US government, the New York Times reports. Steel orders have collapsed since September, causing thousands of layoffs. Execs are pushing hard for the expected stimulus package from the incoming...

Detroit Should Look at the History of Steel
Detroit Should Look at the History of Steel

Detroit Should Look at the History of Steel

Bankruptcy saved that industry, but auto isn't exactly the same

(Newser) - When the steel industry was floundering, many people thought the worst possible outcome would be to allow the big, old companies to go bankrupt. But it took that failure to pare down the industry to a workable size and inject new life into it, David Streitfeld writes in the New ...

Manhole Cover Thieves Hit Streets of Philadelphia

Scrap metal prices result in 25-fold spike

(Newser) - These days you have to watch your step in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love is suffering from an epidemic of manhole-cover theft, as rising scrap metal prices have led to a 2,500% increase in stolen covers and grates. Thieves are selling the covers for $5 to $10 at...

Booming China Flexing Its M&A Muscle

Chinese companies snap up $42B in foreign assets so far in 2008

(Newser) - Chinese companies are on a buying binge, snapping up $42 billion worth of foreign assets in the first 6 months of 2008. That's a 500% increase over the previous year, and equal to the combined value of takeovers from 2000 to 2006, reports DealBook in the New York Times. And,...

Oil, Steel Fuel Surge in Asian Markets

Near-record crude prices outweigh fears of US skid

(Newser) - Crude climbed within 50 cents of a record today, and that meant Asian stock indexes were climbing as well with the Nikkei rising 0.3% and the Asia-Pacific index up 0.1% after big losses Friday. Steel joined oil as a big mover when South Korean producers announced a price...

US Steel Buys Canadian Rival
US Steel Buys Canadian Rival

US Steel Buys Canadian Rival

$1.1B deal for Stelco consolidates market, makes Pittsburgh giant fifth largest

(Newser) - US Steel's agreement to buy Canadian competitor Stelco for $1.1 billion, making it the world's fifth-largest steelmaker, is the company's second major acquisition this year, but not necessarily the last, CEO John Surma said yesterday. In the face of breakneck growth by Indian and Russian steel producers, the Pittsburgh...

Feds Spot Bridge Support Flaw
Feds Spot Bridge Support Flaw

Feds Spot Bridge Support Flaw

Same metal plates are used by hundreds of other bridges

(Newser) - Federal experts investigating the Minneapolis bridge disaster have identified a structural flaw that may have led to the collapse, reports the New York Times. Investigators suspect that steel gusset plates used to connect the girders weren't strong enough to support the bridge right from the start. Federal authorities immediately warned...

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