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Rust belt

The "Rust belt" is an area in the northeastern United States whose economy was formerly based largely on heavy industry, manufacturing, and associated industries. This area is roughly defined as comprising the northern sections of Indiana and Ohio, the southern section of Michigan, parts of New York, and most of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Rust Belt is highlighted on the above map in red.

With the expansion of worldwide free trade agreements in the 1960s, it became far cheaper to produce heavy industrial goods such as steel in third world countries and import them into the United States. As a result, the economy of rust belt areas was decimated, as one factory after another was driven out of business and closed down.

The areas are so called because of the unused, rusting machinery left over from the industrial production days. The term Rust belt is a neologism created by analogy to Grain belt and Bible belt.