Final list of 178 exclusions to steel tariffs published today
Washington, DC - The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalitionis (CITAC) Steel Task Force reacted negatively today to the final list of steel products excluded from the 201 steel tariffs by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Lewis Leibowitz, Counsel to CITAC said overall, ithe results bear out that if you own a small steel-consuming company, it is very hard to win an exclusion.i
According to Leibowitz, specialty products made abroad and unavailable in the U.S. generally received exclusions. However, a number of steel products that are in short supply in this country did not.
"Shortages and delays are more likely to fall on smaller companies than larger ones. In the last several months, CITAC has seen that steel-using small businesses are not able to deal with the shortages, delays, and price hikes they are experiencing,i stated Leibowitz. iYet, based on unsubstantiated objections by domestic producers, many of these exclusion requests were turned down. How can domestic steel producers be hurt by imports that pick up the shortfall that domestic producers cannot deliver?" he said.
In November, USTR is expected to announce the next phase of the exclusion process. Submissions will be accepted in the fall and decisions made by March 2003.
"By November, some small companies may well not be around to ask for exclusions. The government is not blunting the impact of the tariff on consumers and the process should in no way be seen as more than a little band-aid on a huge economic gash created by this tax on steel consumers. Product exclusions are not a substitute for rational trade policy that takes both producers and consumers into consideration," concluded Leibowitz.
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of American firms.