CLEVELAND-The Precision Metal-forming Association (PMA) praised House Small Business Committee Chairman Donald Manzullo for holding a hearing to probe the reasons behind the rapid raw material price increases being experienced by U.S. manufacturers. The hearing, "Spike in Metal Prices: What Does it Mean for Small Manufacturers?," not only explored reasons for the skyrocketing price of steel and other metals, but also how those cost increases and supply disruptions are damaging manufacturers, threatening the economic recovery and working against job creation.

Despite the termination of the steel tariffs in December 2003, which was expected to result in stable steel prices and supply for 2004, U.S. steel consumers have experienced massive price increases in the past few months, as well as major supply disruptions. In addition, the cost of scrap steel, nickel, copper and aluminum has risen sharply as well, due in part to trade practices by foreign countries.