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Trade Commission Revokes Some Steel Tariffs

Fri, 12/15/2006 - 3:02am
Amy Radishofski, Staff Reporter

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced Thursday that it will revoke the tariffs and duties on cut-to-length plate from Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK, as well as those for corrosion-resistant carbon steel flat products from Australia, Canada, France and Japan.

The tariffs, which were established in 1993, will remain in place in Germany and Korea.

“We are pleased that the ITC revoked most of the duties,” said Stephen E. Biegun, vice president, International Government Affairs, Ford Motor Co. “All of these duties are outdated and hurt American manufacturing competitiveness and U.S. jobs while needlessly helping a steel industry that is now profitable and healthy.”

“Today’s decision is a major step forward in restoring needed competition to the U.S. steel market,” said Josephine Cooper, Group Vice President, Toyota Motor North America. “The ITC’s decision supports both a strong steel industry and a strong auto industry, and we look forward to working with our colleagues in the steel industry to continue to strengthen manufacturing in the United States.”

DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan and Toyota had joined together for the first time as a group to campaign against the tariffs.

However, the United Steelworkers (USW) did not share the auto industry’s enthusiasm.

“Today the Commission turned a blind eye to the unfair trade practices harming our steel industry,” said USW President Leo W. Gerard. “Their decision upends important orders that have helped counteract unfair trade practices and kept good steelworker jobs here in the United States.”

“Today’s vote turns back the clock on America’s steelworkers, and once more puts us at the mercy of foreign producers who routinely have taken advantage of our open market to dump their unfairly traded steel,” added USW International Vice President Tom Conway.

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