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Trade Commission Recommends Tariffs on Some Steel Imports

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced the recommendations and views on remedy that its members will forward to the President in its global safeguard investigation regarding imports of steel.

These actions follow the Commission's October 22, 2001, determinations in the injury phase of this investigation. Under the statute, only Commissioners who made affirmative injury determinations for a product were eligible to recommend remedies for that product. The Commission submitted its report to the President in December 2001. The report included the Commissioners' determinations, recom-mendations, views, and statements. The President, not the Commission, will make the final decision whether to provide relief to the U.S. industry and the type and amount of relief.

Reflecting the industry's serious import injury, five of the six Commissioners voted for four years of tariffs ranging from 20 percent to 40 percent on major categories of finished carbon and alloy steel imports, and two of the three Republican Commission members voted for relatively stronger tariffs on tubular (30 percent), long (35 percent) and all flat-rolled (40 percent) carbon and alloy steel imports (including slabs) covered by the ITC's October injury determination.

All recommendations will be forwarded to the President for his consideration. Chairman Stephen Koplan and Commissioners Marcia E. Miller and Jennifer A. Hillman issued common remedy recommendations with respect to almost all products. For most of these products, they recommended tariffs of 20 percent. Details of these common recommendations can be found in the attached joint statement of the three Commissioners. Pursuant to section 330(d)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the common remedy findings of Chairman Koplan and Commissioners Miller and Hillman in this investigation are to be treated by the President as the remedy finding of the Commission.

For data gathering purposes, the Commission divided the steel products covered by the investigation into 33 product categories. On October 22, 2001, the Commission reached affirmative determinations for 12 of these product categories, finding that the products are being imported into the United States in such increased quantities that they are a substantial cause of serious injury or threat of serious injury to the respective U.S. industries. In addition, the Commission was evenly divided in its determinations for four product categories and made negative determinations for 17 product categories. The imported products covered by the Commission's affirmative and evenly divided determinations accounted in the year 2000 for 27 million tons of steel (74 percent of the imports under investigation) valued at $10.7 billion.

For those products on which the Commission made an affirmative injury determination or was evenly divided, section 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation Act requires the Commission to make findings as to whether the imports from Canada and Mexico account for a substantial share of total imports and contribute importantly to serious injury or threat of serious injury to the domestic industry.

For those products for which Commissioners made affirmative injury determinations or were evenly divided, Commissioners announced whether their recommended remedies should apply to imports of the steel products under investigation from these countries, as well as to imports from beneficiary countries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, the Andean Trade Preference Act, or Israel. These recommendations will be forwarded to the President with the Commission's determinations.

For those products covered by the Commission's affirmative or evenly divided determinations, the President will make the final decision concerning whether to provide relief to the U.S. industry and the kind of relief to provide. Under section 312 of the NAFTA Implementation Act, if the President makes negative determinations with respect to imports from Canada and Mexico, such imports will be excluded from any remedy action.

The Commission's public report to the President (Inv. No. TA-201-73, USITC Publication 3479, December 2001) will contain the views of the Commissioners and information developed during the investigation. A copy may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or writing to The Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.

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