According to a 1998 study released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the direct costs associated with metallic corrosion in nearly every U.S. industry sector, from infrastructure and transportation to production and manufacturing was $276 billion—approximately 3.1% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Bring those costs forward; in 2017 the GDP of the U.S. was $19.739 trillion, which means that last year, the direct costs of corrosion in the U.S. would be close to $600 billion.
According to that same 1998 study, the indirect cost of corrosion is conservatively estimated to be equal to or greater than the direct cost. If the indirect cost is also 3.1% of GDP, then the total cost of corrosion was $1.2 trillion in 2017. That is one of the largest single expenses in the U.S. economy, costing money in lost productivity, but also costing lives from dangerous failures.