FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cleveland, Ohio, January 2, 2001
Commenting on the bankruptcy filing by LTV Steel Corp., the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) today cautioned that U.S. government policy should focus on sound action that would benefit LTV workers without hurting workers in downstream industries that depend on steel to serve world markets.
CITAC is a group of companies and associations representing Americas consuming industriesthose companies and workers that rely on open markets for their raw materials and components. Our members include major producers and distributors of automobiles, housing and commercial buildings, wire and wire products, electronic equipment, heavy machinery, tires, food processing equipment, clothing and textile products, oil and gas drilling equipment and services, and many other products.
Jon Jenson, Chairman of CITAC and President Emeritus of Cleveland-based Precision Metalforming Association, said, All of us are concerned about the future of LTV and its work force. That concern must not cause us to overlook the fact that LTV, if it is to survive, must do so based on its own competitive strength not at the expense of other American workers.
With this bankruptcy, we are hearing calls for restrictions on imports of steel, Jenson said. While imports are a convenient scapegoat, import restrictions are not likely to bring LTV back to profitability. Instead, steel-consuming industries such as autos, appliances, heavy equipment, construction and metal fabrication which employ over 40 times more workers than the steel industry would be deprived of the steel they need to be globally competitive.
CITAC calls upon Congress and the Administration to examine carefully the causes of the current crisis at LTV and some other steel producers around the country, Jenson stressed. The domestic steel-producing industry too often blames imports for its problems. But in fact the industry can only meet 75% of domestic demand, and itself imports foreign steel for its own use in production and fabrication.
For many reasons, arbitrarily restricting imports will cause far more harm than good, Jenson said. We must seek meaningful steps to restore the market competitiveness of our steel industry without locking out the imports our economy needs.