MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED STEEL CONSUMING
Washington, DC: More than 200 companies and organizations representing steel-consuming and related industries from across the United States submitted a letter today to President George W. Bush asking that the Section 201 steel tariffs “be terminated at the earliest opportunity.”
President Bush is expected to make a decision soon regarding the future of the steel tariffs. The letter follows the release of the International Trade Commission (ITC)’s Section 332 study on the impact of the steel tariffs on steel-consuming industries, which showed that the tariffs resulted in increased prices, declines in availability and quality of steel, an increased shift by customers to overseas sourcing, and a total loss to the U. S. economy of $987.2 million.
Said William E. Gaskin, CITAC STF Chairman and President of Precision Metalforming Association, “This letter shows how the steel tariffs have truly energized and unified hundreds of steel consuming companies and related industries to voice their strong concern about the steel tariffs to President Bush. If ever there was a time to speak up, it’s now, and that’s exactly what we are doing. It’s time to look ahead and work towards a manufacturing environment that’s steel tariff-free.”
The letter states, “After eighteen months of the tariffs, it is clear that the steel industry has benefited as much as possible from the imposition of the tariffs in March 2002. It is equally clear that steel-consuming industries and their employees have suffered economic harm due to the tariffs.”
Referring to the nearly one quarter of steel-consuming companies who reported to the ITC that their customers had shifted purchasing finished parts or assemblies overseas as a result of the steel tariffs, the letter states, “this is business that has left the U.S. in only a few short months that the tariffs have been in place – business likely never to return.”
The steel-consuming signatories emphasize that the country needs a globally competitive steel industry, writing, “This is also vital to many steel consumers in the United States. The steel industry is in fact now in a stronger position than it was 18 months ago, due to some consolidation and restructured labor agreements. But America — and the American steel industry — also need a strong and vibrant manufacturing sector. Eighteen additional months of the steel tariffs will further harm steel-consuming industries.”
“Steel is an important commodity. However, it is a raw material that must be forged drawn, stamped or otherwise formed into something…” the letter concludes. “This equally critical work is performed by the nearly 13 million employees in various steel-consuming industries. Those companies, and their employees are urgently awaiting your decision on the steel tariffs — a decision to terminate the tariffs can give them hope, and offer a renewed chance to thrive.”
The letter is available here.
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.