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U. S. Steel Chairman Responds To WTO's Failure to Overturn Flawed Decision on Essential Steel Safeguard Measures


Today a World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body failed to overturn a flawed Dispute Settlement Body decision regarding the steel safeguard measures. Thomas J. Usher, chairman and CEO of United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X), expressed disappointment with the decision, but added that he was "hardly surprised" by this outcome.

"The fact that this decision is not a surprise to anybody illustrates what is wrong with the WTO. The WTO has ruled against every safeguard action instituted by any WTO-member country," said Usher. "While we are frustrated by the WTO's decision, we understand that the Administration must now analyze this ruling and consider what implementation steps or additional explanation might be appropriate or necessary. Congress has established very specific procedures under the law, which must be followed in implementing a decision. We hope and expect that the Administration will follow these procedures and will, in considering any implementation steps, ensure that this critically needed relief is in no way disrupted."

Regarding the retaliatory threats made by the European Union (EU), Usher explained that immediate retaliation against the United States following this flawed decision would violate WTO agreements and must therefore not be allowed to "influence the President's decision regarding the steel relief measures." The steel safeguard measures have already been significantly weakened through the exclusions process. In addition to the many countries that were excluded from the tariffs from the outset of the relief, over 1,000 specific product exclusions have been granted -- most of which were granted to European suppliers. Congressional sources have expressed concern that bowing to such illegal tactics would further undermine Congressional confidence in the WTO and other free trade initiatives.

The American steel industry is in the middle of an historic restructuring effort, having invested over $3 billion dollars to consolidate and having entered into a new agreement with the United Steelworkers of America to further improve productivity. It is essential that the industry not be subjected to a renewed surge of imports because of an early termination or weakening of the safeguard measures.

"The industry is doing its part under the Section 201 program," said Usher. "The industry now needs the President to maintain the relief measures for the full three-year term if the President's program is to come to a successful conclusion."

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SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation

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

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