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This Time, It’s Personal

This Time, It’s Personal

A farm boy from rural Missouri is one of the latest executives to add his
voice to the domestic steel industry’s ongoing call for free but fair trade.
And based on his past and passion, Trinity Products’ Robert Griggs just may
become one of the sectors’ loudest and most persuasive advocates.
Robert Griggs – Trinity Products
Spiralweld Pipe Mill – St. Charles, MO

The mere mention of global overcapacity in steel sends Robert Griggs into hyper drive.

Long-simmering and strong feelings rooted in supporting basic industries like steel have turned the founder and president of Trinity Products LLC, St. Charles, Missouri, into a trade activist.

No stranger to the steel sector, it took an egregious slap—or two—in the face to the domestic industry in general and Trinity Products in particular to get Griggs going—big time.

Griggs, who has spent just shy of four decades in the steel business, vaulted into action when confronted with a two-pronged affront to his sense of logic and Midwestern values.

“The first event was the loss of a dredging deal in New Orleans bid out by the Port of New Orleans that would have allowed Trinity Products to supply 3,500 tons of pipe worth about $4 million and accounting for a month’s worth of work for my folks,” he recalled. “The job went to a Chinese supplier coming in through South Korea who won the bid with pricing that was 32 percent below mine.

“No friggin’ way that wasn’t because of government subsidies,” he said. “They are selling pipe on the dock in New Orleans at the cost of my domestically purchased coils.”

The second fuse sparking Griggs outrage came when steel for piers supporting the Holland Tunnel in New York harbor bid out by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was awarded to a New York contractor who engaged a United States broker who used a Turkish pipe manufacturer working with Chinese coils.

“Wow, all those companies with just a sliver of the business going to an American firm,” Griggs exclaimed.

Two years ago, Trinity Products established a transloading yard in Fairless Hills, Pa. to keep laydown and transportation costs to about $50 a ton and serve just this type of project. “When the bid was awarded, we were beaten by about 12 percent,” Griggs estimated. “That lost order would have accounted for about two months of work for my firm.”

Those back-to-back slaps in the face (Trinity actually lost five bids but the last two stung the most) sent Griggs first to New York City where he spoke with the New York Daily News, which profiled his quest to bring free but fair trade to the nation’s shores…….

Read Full Article ( This Time, It’s Personal – AMM Magazine

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