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U. S. Steel Chairman Says WTO Decision Regarding Section 201 Steel Tariffs Is Seriously Flawed


Reacting to news reports today that the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel has ruled that the Section 201 tariff measures are inconsistent with the WTO agreements, Thomas J. Usher, Chairman and CEO of United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X), said, "The WTO decision, as reported, is both inconsistent with the facts and inconsistent with the law."

Expressing frustration that the WTO continues to systematically undermine the fair application of the U.S. trade laws, Usher stated, "The WTO decision appears to be `based on bias, not fact.' In fact, the U.S. has once again been subjected to the `double-barreled bias' of an institution set on weakening both the position of the U.S. in the trading world and the world's trade laws, regardless of the country trying to enforce them." For example, to date, WTO dispute settlement panels have struck down every safeguard measure to come before them.

The Section 201 tariff measures, which were imposed following an intensive investigation and unanimous affirmative injury finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission, are in full compliance with the WTO agreements.

For that reason, Usher stressed that "the United States must appeal this decision to the WTO Appellate Body while continuing to fully enforce the tariff measures for the entire three-year period. What is at stake is the integrity of the President's steel program and the ability of American steel companies to complete the needed restructuring that has begun as a result of the Section 201 tariffs."

The U.S. International Trade Commission conducted the most exhaustive investigation in history before finding that imports were a substantial cause of the serious injury suffered by domestic producers. Following the completion of a three-month review of the ITC's report by the Executive Branch, the President implemented temporary import relief.

"This WTO decision raises the question of what it takes to satisfy a WTO panel with respect to a safeguard measure," said Mr. Usher. "The answer, it seems, is that it can't be done."

U. S. Steel will work with the government to vigorously defend the Section 201 tariff measures and urges the Administration to maintain the remedy measures for the full three years originally mandated.

SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation

CONTACT: Mike Dixon, +1-412-433-6860 or John Armstrong, +1-412-433-6792,
both of United States Steel Corporation

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