CITAC STF: ONLY VIABLE SOLUTION FOR STEEL CONSUMERS
Washington, DC: Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition Steel Task Force (CITAC STF) Chairman William E. Gaskin today reiterated that the only viable solution to stopping the damage to steel consumers and the U.S. economy caused by the WTO-illegal steel tariffs is to terminate them as soon as possible.
“A steel industry proposal to keep the tariffs for another year fails to address the most critical aspect of the entire debate over steel tariffs – US industries that use steel have suffered 20 months of higher-cost steel prices which have damaged the U.S. economy and contributed significantly to the loss of manufacturing jobs. The industry’s proposal also won’t stop the billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs the U.S. faces by our trading partners. And, modifying the tariffs certainly won’t put the United States in compliance with its WTO obligations,” Gaskin said.
He continued, “The President can end the tariffs now with full confidence that the U.S. steel industry has benefited as much as possible from them. Keeping them in place at any level will neither help the domestic steel industry further consolidate nor enter new labor agreements. Now, the answer to helping the U.S. manufacturing sector and returning it to a globally competitive force, to avoiding trade wars and meeting WTO rules is to terminate the tariffs. Any position short of full termination of steel tariffs won’t solve a thing. Period.”
Gaskin stressed that only the full and immediate elimination of the steel tariffs would work to ease steel consumers’ burdens with increased prices, declines in availability and quality of steel, and shift by customers to overseas sourcing following the implementation of the steel tariffs in March 2002. “In fact, we are now seeing steel prices rise again, with more price increases already announced for early next year, and some steel industry observers are beginning to warn of shortages in certain steel products next year,” he said.
“The debate should be over: Let’s end the steel tariffs now,” concluded Gaskin.
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.