FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Christina Bucher
June 27, 2002   The PBN Company



Dramatic price increases, uncertainty in market taking a toll on downstream industries

Washington, DC - Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition representatives from the steel drum industry visited Washington, DC today for meetings with legislators and Administration officials to detail severe problems caused by the 201 tariffs that can be resolved only through exclusions from the tariff.

"We're here today to underscore the need for exclusions of our products from the tariffs and to refute claims by some that steel is readily available and that prices are being 'restored.' The 201 steel tariffs are causing serious problems for steel drum makers and other small- and medium-sized steel users," said Dale Cann, President of Nesco, a steel drum manufacturer from Missouri. "Some of us have been put on allocation by steel producers, and others are reporting that steel suppliers won't take new orders. In addition, prices have increased to unprecedented levels - 30-70% over the last three months."

The steel drum industry is global and extremely competitive. It supplies 55-gallon drums and other steel containers for transportation of oil, chemicals, solvents, foodstuffs and many other products. The drum makers have joined together to support exclusion requests for steel drum material without limits on tonnage because neither the domestic steel users nor the imported steel users can obtain the quantity of steel they need at a price that allows them to be globally competitive and guarantees their economic survival.

"I can't eat the cost of the price increases and I've already been warned that I can't pass it on to my customers," stated Cann. "This is what steel drum makers are facing with both imports and domestic supplies and it's the reason we need an exclusion."

"For companies that can only afford a 10% increase in input costs before they lose profitability, a 70% increase in steel prices is devastating," stated Lewis Leibowitz, CITAC's Counsel. "Steel is the largest cost material in a steel drum so the price impact is enormous."

CITAC-member stamping companies, spring makers, auto parts manufacturers - virtually all small- to medium-sized steel users tell the same story. They are bearing the brunt of the 201 tariff and it is unsustainable.

"We are here today because we want the Administration to take action before there are layoffs and closings. We've already felt the impact of the price increases and the uncertainty created by being put on allocation, shortages, and long lead times - it's a real burden for a small businessperson," added Rob Bishop of North Coast Container Corporation.

Domestic industry sources have accused downstream users of exaggerating their troubles to gain attention and poke holes in the 201 tariff with exclusion requests. "We are globally competitive American businesses. We, steel users collectively, employ 12 million Americans. We have never been subsidized, never protected with tariffs, before now we have never come to Washington, DC to buy our steel. My business is hurting and I am asking my elected representatives to do something about it, first by granting an exclusion, and second by reconsidering this unfortunate policy," concluded Les Trilla of Trilla Steel Drum.

The company executives participating in the briefing included Dale Cann of Nesco Container Corporation (Fenton, MO), Rob Bishop of North Coast Container Corporation (Cleveland, OH), Lester Trilla of Trilla Steel Drum (Chicago, IL), Ron Evans of Evans Columbus (Blacklick, OH) and Karl Svendsen of Greif Bros. Corporation (Delaware, OH).

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.

For additional information or to arrange an interview with steel drum executives, please contact Christina Bucher at .





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