The United States is not only one of the world’s largest producers of steel scrap, but also the largest exporter of steel scrap. The uniqueness of the USA economy in the fact that it is a net importer of steel, despite being a low cost steel producer and having enough capacity to satisfy domestic demand all by itself. The U.S. economy could well capture the economic benefits that it loses out on by exporting the scrap it produces, if it took advantage of its supply of scrap by expanding steel production. All the problems faced by US such as lack of employment opportunities, lack of infrastructure, degradation of environment could solved through expanding steel production by utilising its supply of scrap.
To provide a more accurate distinction between what the U.S. could achieve and what it is losing out on purely based on the role scrap plays in its economy. The following numbers and figures collected from the Internet provide an interesting insight; if US did utilize its scrap to meet domestic consumption, it would end up creating approximately 87,000 new jobs (both directly and indirectly), increase GDP by nearly 29 billion and reduce the trade deficit by a significant amount. Not only this, its environmental repercussions would be ideal, since it would actually help cut down the green house gas emissions. Who would have thought the scrap industry could be so beneficial for the health of a nation?
India, on the other hand, does not share the same bond with its scrap as U.S. does. We should, therefore, follow in their footsteps and make conscious efforts towards advocating the case of scrap and build upon a scrap industry. Instead of letting idle machinery lie, we should promote yards to advertise the cause for conversion of idle machinery to scrap. If India can increase its inventory of scrap, then it too can solve several challenges that face the country on the path of development. Not only, will it be able to provide infrastructure for its development schemes and programs, but also eventually lead to production of job opportunities. However, due to several import hurdles, India still remains the world’s third largest importer of scrap even though it’s scrap industry has the potential to grow exorbitantly in the years to come.
Given that the situations of both the countries are not same, India can however learn from the U.S. the importance of the growth of the steel scrap industry. While US has the luxury of not exactly using its steel scrap for domestic use, India does not. India could benefit tremendously if more importance was given to the increasing relevance of scrap metal industry today and the benefit one can reap from it.