Made in America? Yeah. American owned? Nope.

a-asteeelSometimes I think we lose site of what happens when American companies don’t keep American ownership.

We sell ourselves to the Chinese in many ways, we have other gazillionaires buying up our buildings and property, and now, we have the possibility of a foreign government taking part ownership of a business that was once “American”.

Here’s the quick and dirty:
There was the Portland-based Oregon Steel Mills that were sold to Roman Abramovich (who also owns Britain’s Chelsea soccer team).  He bought the steel mills for $2.35 billion.

He’s one of many who have bought up “things” around the world.  Since there is an economic crisis, money is tight, and the group that has bought up everything is proposing a merger, which includes the Evraz Portland Steel Mills.

That group inlcudes the Kremlin, who (meaning Putin) has bailed out Evraz and other companies when the debts from their buying sprees mounted.

The upside, of course, is that people keep their jobs.  But there are other considerations to be made.  Like, what happens when that same steel company also buys a Delaware company…

“It might help keep them from closing up some things here,” says Alan Humbard, purchasing manager at Fought & Co., a Tigard fabricator that buys slabs from Evraz Oregon Steel.

As recently as last summer, Evraz Oregon Steel and other mills were sitting almost as pretty as Russia’s uber-wealthy. Steel prices soared. Customers clamored for products.

Humbard says Fought & Co. had signed contracts to buy steel plate at agreed prices for two Oregon bridges from Claymont Steel, a Delaware company that Evraz bought last year for $565 million.

“They just tore them up and charged us huge increases,” says Humbard, who said Evraz managers in Portland dictated the revised terms. “We would probably sue them, but we’re so limited on who we can buy domestic steel plate from.”
(H/T:  OregonLive via Drudge)

Call me an alarmist, but imagine this scenario:  We have a huge “call” for steel, and we need to rely on domestic mills, but a foreign government pulls the strings…a government with whom we don’t necessarily see eye to eye.  Uh…wouldn’t we be screwed?

I just cringe when I hear of foreign interests, especially those interests that could so quickly be our enemies, taking control of so many of our businesses, land, and resources.


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