This 2009 assessment of environmental regulation of China’s rapidly growing steel industry documents China’s ineffective enforcement of weak pollution-control standards, its failure to use adequate pollution-prevention measures, and the resulting high levels of pollution.
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As of 2009, China produces more steel than the U.S., Russia, and Japan combined, and is responsible for half of the world’s carbon dioxide from steelmaking.
Even if China’s environmental infrastructure was sound, its air and water pollution standards applicable to the steel industry are far less stringent than in the United States.
U.S. steelmakers spend 80 percent more than their Chinese counterparts per ton of steel to limit air and water pollution levels, equal to an annual subsidy for China’s mills of more than $1.7 billion.