Specialty Steel Industry Chairman Testifies before Congressional Steel
Washington— Paul A. Kelly, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Slater Steel Inc. and Chairman of the Specialty Steel
Industry of North America testified before the Congressional steel caucus
May 22, 2003. Highlights of his testimony are as follows:
"As you know, specialty steels are high value stainless
steel and other specialty alloy products. Shipments of North American
specialty steel account for some $8 billion in annual revenues, yet account
for only 2 percent of the volume. Indicative of their high value, specialty
steels are sold by the pound, not the ton.
"Fourteen months after the 201 program went into
effect, there is some evidence that the remedy has begun to help stainless
bar, rod and wire producers. But, while imports of these products have
declined, they still control 40% of the U.S. stainless steel bar market
and 57% of the stainless steel rod market. Stainless steel sheet/strip,
the industry's largest product line, is not covered by the import relief
program. The latest data reflect an increase in stainless steel sheet/strip
imports with U.S. producers losing 20% of their own market to imports.
It is important to note that the U.S. price for commodity grade stainless
steel sheet/strip is among the lowest in the world.
"While import levels are decreasing across other
stainless steel product lines, demand has also dropped. Overall import
penetration for all specialty steels sits at 24%.
"The 201 remedy has started to help the stainless
industry, but the full benefits have yet to be realized. It is crucial
that the relief program be allowed to continue for the full three-year
term as originally planned. While the import numbers for stainless products
covered under 201 remain high, I am convinced that they would be even
higher today in its absence. The remedy must continue if we are to have
any chance of increasing sales volume, recapturing market share and returning
"On a related note, I would like to voice our strong
support for Mr. Visclosky's legislation that would expand the current
steel import licensing and monitoring program. Mr.Visclosky's legislation
would expand the coverage to include all steel products. This legislation
would provide my industry with a meaningful early warning system that
could identify import surges in a timely manner so that industry and government
decision makers will have the information necessary to best respond to
changes in trade patterns."