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U.S. steel exports rose 13 percent last year

Rows of ArcelorMittal coils sit ready to be loaded onto the ship Pacific Huron at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor before their departure to Macedonia in 2011. U.S. steel exports rose 13 percent last year.

U.S. steel exports rose by 13 percent last year, with robust increases of exports to major trading partners in North America and Europe.

The United States exported 10.5 million tons of steel, according to the American Institute for International Steel. America also imported 34.6 million tons of steel last year, near the record of 40.3 million in 2014, continuing its reign as the world's largest importer of steel.

U.S. mills, however, sent 5.2 million tons of steel to Canada last year, an 11 percent year-over-year increase, and 4.1 million tons to Mexico, a 12 percent year-over-year increase. They also sent 407,451 tons to the European Union, or 60 percent more than the previous year.

Exports declined by 15 percent month over month to 751,977 in December, including a 20 percent drop of exports to Canada and a 16 percent decline to Mexico. The American Institute for International Steel, which routinely promotes free trade, warned that dismantling the North American Free Trade Agreement could shrink exports to Canada and Mexico, which now consumes roughly 90 percent of the steel exported by U.S. steel mills.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.