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AISI hails US infrastructure bill, Buy American provision to boost steel demand

Highlights

Legislation includes Buy American provisions

White House establishes Infrastructure Implementation Task Force

The American Iron and Steel Institute hailed President Joe Biden's signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Nov. 15 as the legislation, which includes Buy American provisions, is expected to support domestic steel demand.

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The $1.2 trillion bipartisan package, signed into law by Biden at a White House ceremony Nov. 15, marks the largest investment in US infrastructure since the Federal Highway Act of 1956.

"This day is long-awaited, not just by those of us in the steel industry but by all Americans," Kevin Dempsey, CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said in a statement. ".... We applaud the fact that the new law, and the executive order implementing it, have a strong focus on enhancing US competitiveness and using American-made products – including by using American-made steel, which is cleaner and more sustainable than steel made in the other leading steel-producing countries."

Ahead of the bill's signing Nov. 14, the White House said former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu would serve as senior advisor responsible for coordinating implementation of the bill. On Nov. 15 the White House announced the establishment of the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force, co-chaired by Landrieu and National Economic Council director Brian Deese, which will coordinate implementation of the law across the government.

Among six priorities for implementation laid out by Biden's administration, Buy American was listed second, with the White House looking to increase the competitiveness of the US economy, including through implementing the bill's Made-in-America requirements and bolstering domestic manufacturing and manufacturing supply chains.

Steel-intensive funding in the legislation includes $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects, $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, $39 billion for public transit, and $7.5 billion for electric vehicles.

The AISI estimates that for every $100 billion of new investment in infrastructure it could increase demand for domestic steel by as much as 5 million st.