HomeSteel in the NewsUpcoming EventsVoter's GuidePosition PapersContact Us

     Press Releases





Dara Klatt

March 4, 2003


The PBN Company







Washington, DC: On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Bush Administration's imposition of the Section 201 steel tariffs, members of the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition Steel Task Force (CITAC STF) repeated that the tariffs have devastated many steel-consuming businesses and urged President Bush to direct the International Trade Commission (ITC) to review the impact of the tariffs on both steel producers and steel consumers.

"The situation for steel consumers has gone from bad to worse," said CITAC STF Chairman William Gaskin. "We have repeatedly said over the past year that because of the tariffs, prices have soared, lead times have increased, supplies have been disrupted and customers have moved overseas. While the steep prices and short supply availability have temporarily eased, we expect the situation for steel consumers will worsen in the coming months. One year of the tariffs has meant a year of massive business and financial losses for steel consumers."

"Even more troubling," Gaskin said, "a recent CITAC study found that 200,000 people were unemployed last year because of higher steel prices and tariffs played an important role in those job losses. In fact, more American workers were unemployed last year due to higher steel prices than the total number employed by U.S. steel producers. The question we've asked since March 5, 2002 is why are steel producers' jobs more important than steel consumers' jobs?"

Gaskin offered hope that policymakers would look at the full impact of the tariffs as part of the upcoming mid-point review the purpose behind Rep. Joe Knollenberg's (R-MI) House Concurrent Resolution 23, which urges President Bush to request the International Trade Commission (ITC) to "monitor and report on the impact of the temporary safeguards on domestic steel-consuming industries." While the ITC is required to examine the effects of the steel tariffs at the mid-point review (September 20 2003), it is under no obligation to consider the effects of the tariffs on steel consumers without such a request.

"The details of steel consumers' stories may differ& a company in California may have laid off 50 workers, an Indiana business may have lost major customers to China never to return and some family-owned operation in Missouri may be struggling day by day to make it," said Gaskin. "The message is the same; the steel tariffs have severely harmed small businesses across the country.

"Steel producers seem to believe that everything but the tariffs is at fault for the damage being done to the economy," he said. "They say, 'Let the tariffs work.' But the facts need to be laid out for all to see. Listen to steel consumers' stories. Look at the CITAC study, look at all the evidence. It's overwhelming. There are more than 12 million steel-consuming jobs compared to 190,000 steel-producing jobs and those voices need to be heard by the Bush Administration."

Gaskin concluded, "We believe the evidence is clear that after one long and grueling year, it's time to terminate the 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.



Home  |  Steel in the News  |  Upcoming Events  |   Voter's Guide  |  Position Papers  |  Our Members  |  Contact Us