CITAC STEEL TASK FORCE URGES BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO HEED FEDERAL RESERVE
Washington, DC: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan reiterated his opposition to the Section 201 steel tariffs in an appearance before Congress on May 21, calling for the Bush Administration to eliminate the steel tariffs "quickly."
Testifying at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Chairman Greenspan said, "We should, as quickly as we can, take those [steel] tariffs off and open the market to competitive forces."
Greenspan also acknowledged that price increases and other market distortions caused by the steel tariffs imposed in March 2002, were forcing steel users to move production offshore and causing job losses.
"We appreciate Chairman Greenspan's testimony before Congress, which confirms what steel users have been saying for over a year: that the tariffs have caused price increases, weakened steel consumers' competitiveness, led production offshore, and caused many thousands of job losses. If we don't act quickly to terminate these tariffs, the damage will continue to worsen and more jobs will be lost," said William Gaskin, Chairman of CITAC STF.
Gaskin also cited a recent CITAC study, which showed 200,000 job losses in steel consuming industries nationwide in 2002 due to higher steel prices - the tariffs a major cause of the increased steel prices.
"The steel tariffs are clearly a drain on U.S. manufacturing as a whole. We hope that the Bush Administration considers the testimony of Chairman Greenspan and looks at all the evidence. There are thousands of tragic stories of steel consumers whose jobs and businesses are being hit hard by continuing the tariffs. The voices of the more than 12 million steel-consuming workers need to be heard," Gaskin said.
The International Trade Commission (ITC), at the request of the House Ways & Means Committee, has begun an investigation into the economic impact of the steel tariffs on steel consumers and related industries such as ports. This investigation will include hearings in June to obtain personal testimony by steel consumers on the impact of the steel tariffs on their businesses and collect evidence on the effects of the tariffs.
"We urge the President to review this information and terminate the tariffs this September at the mid-point review," Gaskin concluded.
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.