URGENCY OF FULL ANALYSIS OF STEEL TARIFF'S IMPACT GAINS
Washington, DC: Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition Steel Task Force (CITAC STF) members asked U.S. steel producers to remember the plight of their customers as they mark the one year anniversary of the Section 201 steel tariffs, and announced that a resolution has been introduced in the U.S. Senate calling for President Bush to request the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to analyze the impact of the steel tariffs on U.S. steel-consuming industries.
The resolution, sponsored by Senators Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Peter Fitzgerald (R - IL) is similar to one introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Joe Knollenberg that now has 74 co-sponsors. In addition, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas has formally requested, in what is known as a Section 332 request, that the ITC analyze the impact of the Section 201 steel tariffs on steel-consuming industries.
"The resolutions in Congress and the 332 investigation are an acknowledgement that the unintended consequences of the tariffs after just one year are mounting, for steel consumers and related industries," stated William Gaskin, CITAC STF Chairman and President of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). "The Ways and Means Committee recently held a balanced hearing to look at the whole story and listen to both sides of the debate. Steel-consuming jobs are just as important as steel-producing jobs, and steel consumers' concerns must be included on any analysis of the impact of the steel tariffs."
CITAC released a study in February which estimated that 200,000 American jobs were lost last year because of higher steel prices with steel tariffs playing an important role in those job losses. The study also stated that more American workers were unemployed last year due to higher steel prices than the total number of people employed by U.S. steel producers.
Gaskin's comments were echoed by John Foster, Vice President of Ferrostaal Incorporated and Chairman of the Texas Free Trade Coalition, a diverse group representing ocean and river ports, union and nonunion terminals as well as trucking and other material handling companies.
"We are all suffering from the unintended consequences of the Section 201 on steel and absolutely deserve a voice in the process of deciding whether to continue these disastrous tariffs," stated Foster.
The House Ways & Means Committee hearing was held on the same day that the news media reported that the World Trade Organization made a preliminary decision that the steel tariffs did not comply with U.S. obligations under the WTO.
Gaskin continued, "We will continue to speak up for the more than 13 million Americans employed in steel consuming jobs to press the Bush Administration to end the tariffs soon as possible to avoid further damage to the economy. There must be other ways of helping the steel industry without destroying their customers."
Testimony presented at the House Ways & Means Subcommittee hearing is here.
View other CITAC information on the Section 201 tariffs:
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries have access to global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of American firms. The CITAC Steel Task Force is comprised of steel consumers working to achieve the termination of the 201 steel tariffs by mid-point review and reform U.S. trade laws and policies to benefit U.S. steel consumers.