As the world steel market changed rapidly in the postwar period, the challenge to adjust fell heavily on established steel industries, first in the United States, then in the EC. It is largely the resistance to the market-driven adjustment process in the United States and the EC that has created the perpetual cycle of steel protectionism since 1968. In the wake of the Second World War, the steel industry's perceived importance as a strategic industry had become stronger than ever. The war had been won in large part on the overwhelming industrial strength of the United States, which had produced ships, aircraft, tanks, jeeps, arms and ammunition in unprecedented quantities. The relationship between American steel companies and the US government in the early postwar period can be generally described as one of antagonism, a situation that distinguished the American steel industry from most other national industries at the time.