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Cement: another way stimulus money will flow to China (and Mexico, Canada, Korea...)

A large part of the stimulus bill will go towards "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects involving heavy construction. And, that's going to require a lot of cement. In 2007, it looks like the U.S. used about 110 million metric tons of portland cement, at the same time as importing almost 23 million metric tons of cement and clinker (Portland Cement Association, link):

About 83% of cement and clinker imported in 2007 came from five major countries: China, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, and the Republic of Korea. Imports from China in 2007 declined to 7.5 million metric tons down 41.0% from 2006 levels

Despite operating at high efficiency, U.S. plants apparently can't meet demands, and there's a discussion of a cement shortage in 2005 here and here.

Your assignment: find out how much cement we'd have to import for all those stimulus-related projects, and calculate how much more China will be making off us.

Sun, 02/08/2009 - 16:28 · Importance: 4

Sun, 02/08/2009 - 23:27
Mary

Let's see...hmmm...I'm not real good at math but we will need; 1.) Cement Shoes for Barney Frank,Nancy Pelosi,Harry Reid,Juan McCain, Collins,Snowe and Spectre......And that's just for a start!!!

Mon, 02/09/2009 - 00:16
dead rethug

Despite operating at high efficiency, U.S. plants apparently can't meet demands... That should be "demand", but what the heck, who said you neo-fascists can write properly. Why can't US plants meet demand? Why isn't management (and I'm guessing that means more Rethug garbage) investing in capacity expansion? Are they too busy investing in Chinese plants so they can further enrich themselves by employing cheap Chinese? Do your own arithmetic, dirtball. If US plants operate at high efficiency and can compete (which your own numbers suggest is the case), then lets see some investment in US industrial capacity. That might prevent some of the money from heading to our enemies in China. Of course this is a pretty complex idea for you Rethugs to figure out. A lot more complicated than, say, more tax cuts...

Mon, 02/09/2009 - 13:25
Mary

And if Harry Reid gets his way...those plants operating in the US will be employing ILLEGAL ALIENS as he blocks e-verify from the bill....

Mon, 02/09/2009 - 15:53
petty bourgeois

"who said you neo-fascists can write properly." Shouldn't here be a question mark at the end of this personal attack? You should probably learn to write before you criticize others for their writing ability. What exactly is a "neo-fascist" anyway? Is that someone who disagrees with an illiterate leftist?

Tue, 02/10/2009 - 01:32
Smitty

Portland cement manufacture is energy intensive, its logical that most cement would come from Mexico & China where environmental regulations are non-existant. You can buy your own cement burning old US tires, who cares that you leave a black plume of polluted smoke that stretches all the way around the world?

Tue, 02/10/2009 - 01:59
Smitty

About cement kilns http://www.temarry.com/Cement%20Kilns/Cement_Kiln.htm Note this page is for US regulated kilns, not the ones in Mexico & China where they have lax environmental laws and little if any pollution control equipment which is expensive & reduces efficiency. Importing Cement from Mexico & China is actually a good thing, let their citizens die of pollution and let us benefit from cheap cement. Ideally we should export all our dirty industries to China & Mexico. let them die of cancer and emphesema

Tue, 02/10/2009 - 13:52
Mary

Smitty, Hate to break it to ya...but that pollution comes right back to us from China in a nice big toxic cloud that circles the globe...... Talk about PAYBACK!

Wed, 02/11/2009 - 17:46
Smitty

Yes pollution does come back our way but only a small percentage of the total pollution created and guess what, even if we bought zero cement from Mexico & China they'd still be polluting the exact same amount, so not buying Chinese & Mexican cement doesn't improve our air quality one iota, and whatever gets built with that cement doesn't benefit Americans either (like multi billion dollar microchip factories that pay good wages). You'd have a point if we have fully enforced universal global pollution laws but that will never happen.