President Brought Multi-Faceted Pressure to Bear on Steel Industry Titans

Apr. 13, 1962 - For three days, the great forces at the command of the President of the United States were brought to bear on the steel industry. Some of the effort to get the steel industry to rescind its price rise was exerted in the open — the President’s denunciation of the companies at his press conference, calculated to arouse public opinion against them; the opening of grand jury proceedings leading to possible anti-trust action; and the threat to divert orders to companies that had not raised prices. But privately as well, President Kennedy and his advisors were bringing every form of persuasion to bear on the industry, trying to hold back the companies that had not yet raised prices and induce the others to roll back the increase. President Kennedy issued this statement this evening: “The people of the United States are most gratified by the announcements of Bethlehem and U.S. Steel Company that their proposed price increases are being rescinded. In taking the action at this time, they are serving the public interest, and their actions will assist our common objective of strengthening our country and our economy.”

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