The steel industry faced a threat from imported steel in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This international dumping of steel in the United States was the result of a worldwide oversupply. These imports, along with other domestic factors, caused the bankruptcies of over 42 U.S. steel companies beginning in 1998, according to the United Steelworkers of America. In 2002, the Bush administration imposed tariffs on steel imported into the United States from other countries in an attempt to improve the health of the industry. However, these tariffs were lifted in 2003, in a move that many in the steel industry considered to be premature, citing that U.S. steel producers did not have enough time to effectively confront the glut of foreign imports. In 2014, the U.S. steel industry's ability to compete on world markets continued to be threatened by American and international trade laws, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).  

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