The Steel Industry and Recovery

August 19, 1933

Report Outline
Washington Conferences on a Code for the Steel Industry
The Steel Industry During the Depression
Steel Industry's Code of Fair Competition
New Developments in the Steel Industry
Steel's Outlook for the Future
Special Focus

Washington Conferences on a Code for the Steel Industry

Much of the Optimism felt over the recovery of industry during the last four months has been based on the phenomenal upturn in the heavy steel industry, long considered a “barometer” of general business. As the basic industry behind all the many and varied types of manufacture using its products, the steel industry represents the largest single element in the country's industrial life, It is the key industry of the so-called ‘durable’ industries which are affected most sharply when depressions begin and are the last to recover. Its recovery, therefore, is particularly significant as indicating an end of the period of business stagnation.

Because of the importance of the industry, its organization into large, strong units, and its independent attitude in dealing with labor, the attention of the country is focused upon the steel code now under consideration. The President is urging speed on this code, for “as steel goes, so may go the ‘new deal’.” Whether the plans set up by the administration are to be frustrated or are to become the tools by which order will come out of chaos in industry will be determined in no small degree by the conditions which come to prevail in “heavy steel.”

Washington Conferences on the Steel Code

Definite disagreement exists between the view of the administration and the provisions of the steel code presented by the industry. Robert Lamont, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, has said that in the provisions of the code the steel industry has gone as far as it can go. If the steel manufacturers refuse to meet the administration's terms, the NRA can deny them the use of the ‘blue eagle,’ but it has been asserted that a ‘consumer boycott’ would have little effect upon steel makers because they do not sell to the ultimate consumer. Recovery Administrator Johnson, in answer to that view, held up the threat of a government boycott of industries which did not come under codes and live up to their provisions. In this threat he displayed another potent weapon of the government inasmuch as the public works and naval programs which are getting under way will be large factors in the steel market in the next two years. The possibility of a government boycott was given final support by President Roosevelt's order that no government purchases be made from concerns not under the ‘blue eagle.’ The final weapon in the hands of the administration is its power to prescribe a code for the industry and to put into effect the licensing provisions of the National Recovery Act under which no concern not conforming to the code would be allowed to operate.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Steel Industry
Mar. 05, 1982  Rebuilding the Nation's Steel Industry
Jul. 07, 1971  Steel Settlement
Jan. 06, 1965  Steel Wages and Prices
Dec. 27, 1962  Fortunes of the Steel Industry
Oct. 24, 1947  Steel Capacity
Sep. 02, 1944  Revision of the Little Steel Formula
Jul. 18, 1938  The Price of Steel
Aug. 19, 1933  The Steel Industry and Recovery
May 01, 1930  The Iron and Steel Industry
Economic Crises
Manufacturing and Industrial Production