An all-steel barrier along the US-Mexico border could require as much as 3 million st of steel, the American Iron and Steel Institute said.
US President Donald Trump said Sunday that his administration is now pursuing a steel barrier along the US-Mexico border, rather than the concrete wall he discussed while campaigning.
“We’ve been in touch with a lot of people and I have informed my folks to say that we will build a steel barrier,” Trump told reporters Sunday in front of the White House. “It will be made out of steel. It will be less obtrusive and it will be stronger … and we’re able to use our great companies to make it. We’re going to be doing a steel barrier and that gives us strength at the border.”
There are several applications and technologies which could be used to produce an all-steel solution for a potential barrier, AISI CEO Thomas Gibson said Monday.
“Steel is readily available and is an innovative material that lends itself to a number of creative design solutions like the steel barrier,” Gibson said in a statement. “Steel’s strength and durability make it the preferred material of choice – whether it be for construction, like a barrier, or for cars, cans, transportation infrastructure, national security … the list is endless.”
The Trump administration has requested $5.7 billion to fund 234 miles of a new physical barrier at the Southern border, but Democrats have opposed the idea of building a physical division as they do not see it as the most effective way to secure the border. The US government entered a partial shutdown December 22 as a result of deadlock over funding a border wall. The shutdown stretched into its 17th day Monday, marking the third-longest government shutdown in US history.
Trump’s shift to a steel border barrier seemed to have little immediate effect on steelmakers’ share prices Monday. Shares of US Steel on the New York Stock Exchange were up 0.54% at market close Monday; AK Steel was up 0.39%; Steel Dynamics Inc. was up 1.05% and ArcelorMittal’s share price rose 1.32% from Friday’s close. Iron ore miner Cleveland-Cliffs saw the largest increase with its stock price rising 3.07%.
Nucor’s share price declined slightly to 0.76% and Commercial Metals Company’s share price was down 5.52% from Friday. Nucor on Monday announced plans to build a $1.35 billion plate mill in the US Midwest, while CMC reported lower earnings in its fiscal first quarter Monday.