Commerce Secretary Evans Reacts to Injury Vote in Section 201 Proceedings

Washington, DC - The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced its conclusion that a surge in imports of certain steel products has harmed U.S. steel producers. The products affected by the ITC's affirmative determination constitute approximately 74 percent of U.S. steel imports.

"The ITC's injury finding opens the next stage of the Section 201 process, which is a recommendation from the ITC to the President on possible action to assist domestic producers in adjusting to import competition," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "We await the ITC's recommendation, and will be consulting closely with all interested parties in the months ahead."

The Administration requested an ITC investigation of steel imports on June 22, 2001. The ITC is an independent agency charged with investigating the effect of imports on the U.S. market. The ITC will now prepare a recommendation as to what action the President should take in response to the import surge. It will announce a recommendation on November 30, 2001. The ITC will follow its announcement with a report on the results of its proceedings that will be sent to the President on December 19, 2001, after which the President will have up to 75 days to decide whether to adopt, modify, or decline the ITC recommendation.

The Section 201 proceedings are part of the Administration's three-prong-ed initiative to respond to the challenges facing the U.S. steel industry. The second prong consists of negotiations with U.S. trading partners to seek the near-term elimination of inefficient excess capacity in the steel industry worldwide. The third and final prong involves negotiations with our trading partners to develop rules that will govern steel trade in the future and eliminate the market-distorting subsidies that gave rise to the industry's current condition. Negotiations aimed at advancing these two multilateral prongs were launched at a conference in Paris last month and will be pursued vigorously in coming months.

The Administration continues to vigorously enforce U.S. trade remedy laws. There are now 135 antidumping and countervailing duty orders on steel products. In addition, there are 68 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations currently in progress.

Between now and the issuance of the ITC report, an interagency group will gather facts that may be relevant to the Administration's decision on what action, if any, to take. The schedule for submitting comments and relevant data will be available from the USTR website, www.ustr.gov.


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