Foreign Pressures on U.S. Based Steel Fabricators


To make the best decisions when ordering fabricated steel, it’s important for you to have a grasp on the international steel fabrication landscape. The U.S. based steel industry has been steadily experiencing mounting pressure from steel fabricators in foreign nations like China and Mexico who, through a combination of cheap labor and lower production standards, have managed to undercut domestic prices. The Chinese government in particular offers substantial subsidies to their steel industry, which has already outpaced its own nation’s demand. Cheap steel sounds very tempting to the unassuming contractor, but the lack of regulations in materials and practices comes with some very serious pitfalls that may not be immediately evident. Choosing U.S. based steel fabricators will likely save you time, money and a lot of hassle in the end.

The Benefits of Opting for U.S. Based Steel Fabricators

Once you consider the pros and cons of foreign versus domestic steel fabrication the overwhelming flaws of the former become undeniable.

  • bigstock-Business-Hand-Pushing-Product--93956762.jpgDomestic Materials are of far superior quality because of regulations and quality standards. From federal and state regulations to ISO certification and superior employee training, the quality of U.S. steel fabricated products outshines its foreign competitors.

  • Language Barriers can make a simple business transaction inordinately complicated and lead to problems with measurement specifications. The list of possible errors is exponential and each one will eat away at your budget and deadline, especially when dealing with a fabricator overseas where shipping and transportation can be equally problematic.

  • Communication is essential for any successful business partnership. While an agreement may be easily reached between two companies overseas, delayed responses and lackluster service continue to be the norm when dealing with steel fabricators abroad.

  • bigstock-Time-Is-Money-Concept-74046667.jpgLead Times are greatly diminished by building in the U.S. for a number of reasons: reduced shipping and transportation, less hassle with time-zones, expedited problem solving and a quick turnaround on reorders.

  • Quality Issues abound with foreign fabrication in many facets of the production process. The metallurgic composition of foreign steel is less regulated, as is the structural integrity of fabricated components and quality control specifications, like those followed by visual weld inspectors.

Now that customers are beginning to understand the challenges and pitfalls involved with working with foreign companies, a lot of that focus is coming back to the U.S. Foreign fabricators are notorious for cutting corners to gain an edge on their U.S. based competition. China, for example, buys raw materials and pays for labor using the vastly devalued yuan, but then turns around and sells their products in other markets using high-value currency like the dollar. The advanced tax structure and system of regulations in place in the U.S. has resulted in a better quality product and made domestic steel fabrication the wiser option. As a result of using a domestic company, you’ll be treated with intelligible customer service, a premium product and reduced lead times.

Download Capability Statement