China shrinks steel industry slowly, drawing Western ire

By: AP | Beijing |
Published: March 13, 2018 8:51 pm

Steel and heavy industry have long been a political touchstone for Chinese leaders, which led to economic disaster in the 1950s. (AP photo)

China’s steel mills, a target of President Donald Trump’s ire, are the industry’s 800-pound gorilla: They supply half of the world’s output, so their every move has a global impact.

The steel industry swelled over the past decade to support a history-making Chinese construction boom. Once that tailed off, the country was left with a glut of half-idle, money-losing mills.

Beijing has closed some mills and eliminated 1 million jobs but is moving too gradually to defuse American and European anger at a flood of low-cost exports that is double the volume of second-place Japan.

Trump responded last week with a blanket tariff hike on steel and aluminum,…

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