AISI Commends President for Taking Next Step in Section 201 Investigation

Washington, D.C. - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), on behalf of its U.S. member companies, commended President Bush and his Administration for taking the next important step in officially submitting the request to the ITC, on June 22, to initiate a steel industry-wide investigation of imports under Section 201 of U.S. trade law.

Duane R. Dunham, AISI Chairman, and Chairman, President and CEO of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, said that, "The President has sent a strong signal to our trading partners that serious injury to the domestic steel industry caused by extraordinarily record high imports is intolerable and that future steel import surges will not go unaddressed. Irreparable damage has already been done by the recent surge of record imports. However, with the Administration's 201 filing, the process that could lead to a sustained period of steel import stability in the United States has at last begun."

According to Mr. Dunham, "A sustained period of steel import stability is not an end in itself, but is a necessary pre-condition for facilitating industry recovery and addressing long-term structural problems, in particular the excess steel capacity offshore and foreign market-distorting practices, which are the root causes of the current crisis. This foreign overcapacity has been created and sustained by massive government subsidies, protected markets and anti-competitive practices. We have no doubt that, out of an effective period of Section 201 relief, will emerge a stronger U.S. steel industry, better able to meet the growing needs of our customers. At the same time, after 50 years of steel trade distortions it is time to ensure that fair conditions of competition and market-based behavior are restored to the steel sector worldwide."

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