Steel producers, who are considering new investments in infrastructure, spend a lot on lobbying • OpenSecrets
Businesses that could benefit from new federal investments are celebrating the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday.
The steel production industry is a prominent sector that could reap the rewards of new money for the construction and renovation of bridges, highways and railroads across the country.
The American Iron and Steel Institute, an industry trade group, applauded the passage of the infrastructure bill, saying in a statement that every $ 100 billion in new infrastructure investment would equal an increase of five million tons of steel demand.
âFinancing roads and bridges, ports and waterways, hydraulic infrastructure, the power grid and investments in electric vehicle systems will all require a lot of steel – and our industry is ready to provide that steel. “said institute president Kevin Dempsy.
The new legislation directs $ 110 billion towards major infrastructure, of which $ 40 billion will go to building and repairing bridges.
The $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill comes after the industry as a whole spent nearly $ 6.9 million on lobbying expenses in the third quarter of 2021. By comparison, the whole industry spent nearly $ 8.9 million on lobbying in 2020.
Nucor Corporation, the largest steel producer in the United States, leads steelmaking companies in lobbying spending.
Nucor has historically been the highest-spending company in the steel industry and was a key player in the industry’s push for tariffs on imported steel during the Trump administration, a policy that raised prices steel in the domestic market.
The steel company with the highest lobbying spending in 2021 is Cleveland Cliffs, which has spent nearly $ 1.4 million between all of its various subsidiaries, which include mining companies.
In 2019, Nucor lobbied for the appointment of two Trump administration trade officials who had previous ties to the steel industry, the Wall Street Journal reported. The industry as a whole spent $ 12.1 million on lobbying in 2018, the most it has ever spent. The rise in spending that year signaled industry pressure for higher tariffs under the Trump administration, according to the Journal.
The company also operates a PAC which was active in the last election. In 2020, the PAC spent $ 507,467, of which $ 300,000 went to federal candidates and the rest split among contributions to national parties and other committees. Of the contributions to federal candidates, about 64% went to Republicans. The PAC has spent nearly $ 236,000 so far in the 2022 election cycle.
After the Senate passed the infrastructure bill in August, Nucor’s share price jumped nearly 10%, a rise other steel producers have also seen.
The building materials and equipment industry, which includes concrete manufacturers, lumber suppliers and construction equipment manufacturers, has also benefited from infrastructure investments.
The entire building materials and equipment industry spent $ 11.9 million on lobbying through the third quarter of 2021. Caterpillar Inc., which has spent nearly $ 2.6 million so far this year, is at the top of this list of companies. The second biggest consumer of lobbying, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, has spent $ 957,459 so far this year.
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