The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) released its 2014 Annual Statistical Report (ASR), which showed that U.S. steel production, shipments and imports all increased in 2014 over 2013. Both total and finished steel imports increased to near record levels as imports garnered a record 28% share of apparent steel supply. U.S. steel shipments were at 98 million net tons, a 3% increase from the previous year and a 6% increase from the most recent five-year average. The report also notes that U. S. raw steel production was 97 million net tons in 2014, a 1% increase over 2013.

 In other news, President Obama recently signed two significant trade initiatives: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and other trade preference programs, which includes renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and trade remedy improvements. The steel industry applauded the action, particularly enactment of the trade remedy measures for which the industry strongly advocated.