The Beauty Of Steel
Marcia Lee Jones
Photograph - Photography
Despite the closing of its local operations, Bethlehem Steel tried to reduce the impact on the Lehigh Valley area with plans to revitalize the south side of Bethlehem. It hired consultants to develop conceptual plans on the reuse of the massive property. The consensus was to rename the 163-acre (660,000 m�) site Bethlehem Works and to use the land for cultural, recreational, educational, entertainment and retail development. The National Museum of Industrial History, in association with the Smithsonian Institution and the Bethlehem Commerce Center, consisting of 1,600 acres (6.5 km�) of prime industrial property, would be erected on the site along with a casino and large retail and entertainment complex.
Inexpensive steel imports and the failure of management to innovate, embrace technology, and improve labor conditions contributed to Bethlehem's demise. Critics of protectionist steel trade policies attribute the cause of this lack of competitiveness to American steel producers like Bethlehem having been shielded from foreign competition by quotas, voluntary export restraints, minimum price undertakings, and antidumping and countervailing duty measures which were in effect for the three decades preceding Bethlehem Steel's collapse. 
In 2001, Bethlehem Steel filed for bankruptcy. In 2003, the company's assets, including its six massive plants, were acquired by the International Steel Group.
March 10th, 2014
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