U. S. Steel Chairman Says WTO Ruling Biased; Fully Supports Government Appeal
Reacting to a World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Panel ruling that Section 201 tariff measures are inconsistent with the WTO agreements, United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) Chairman Thomas J. Usher said, "The problem is with the WTO, not with President Bush's Steel Program. The President acted on the unanimous finding of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) after the most exhaustive trade investigation that agency has ever undertaken. This WTO decision is wrong on the facts and the law."
Usher added, "I'm pleased that the Administration has said that it will promptly appeal this biased decision and seek to have it reversed. This decision is just another in a series of attacks on U.S. trade remedy laws."
The Section 201 tariff measure, which was imposed following an intensive six-month investigation and unanimous affirmative injury finding by the ITC, is in full compliance with WTO agreements. To date, WTO dispute settlement panels have struck down every safeguard measure from every country the WTO has reviewed, contrary to the objective of the negotiators of the WTO who intended to make safeguards actions easier to take.
Usher further stated that three years of relief was fully warranted after the import crisis drove 35 firms in the American industry into bankruptcy. He said, "The improvement to date has been remarkable, but it has just begun. During this period the industry has truly started the process of transforming itself through consolidations and investments. It is now our task to complete the job we started -- to complete the needed restructuring that has begun as a result of the Section 201 tariffs."
Following the ITC's intensive investigation, the President implemented temporary import relief in the form of tariffs. These tariffs decline automatically every year, and the relief period will reach mid-point in September.
U. S. Steel continues to strongly support the President's program, which has enabled it to engage in a major consolidation and to make substantial new capital investments, as well as to negotiate a new productivity-enhancing agreement with the United Steelworkers of America. The company expects the Administration to maintain the remedy measures for the full three years originally mandated.
SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation
CONTACT: John Armstrong or Mike Dixon of United States Steel
Web site: http://www.ussteel.com/
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