ITC Recommends Array Of Steel Import Penalties
The International Trade Commission 201-73 announced its recommendations for remedies to unfair steel imports on Dec. 7. Although mostly in favor of various tariffs and quotas, the six commissioners failed to reach consensus in presenting their recommendations to President Bush, who has until Feb. 19 to act upon the ITC recommendations.
As Supply House Times reported last month, the ITC voted down claims of injury in seamless carbon & alloy pipe, seamless and welded OCTG, and both seamless and welded stainless steel pipe. The categories for which action was recommended are as follows:
- Carbon & alloy steel welded tubular products (other than OCTG): Two commissioners recommended a 30% straight tariff declining in stages to 21% over four years. One commissioner excluded Mexico from the recommendation, while another wanted to exclude Canada, Mexico, Jordan, Israel and beneficiary countries under the Andean Trade Preference Act.
The four other commissioners opted for 20% tariffs on imports in excess of certain tonnage targets, declining in stages to 14% after three years and in one case to 11% in the fourth. Two members of the panel voted to include penalties for Canada and Mexico despite protections under NAFTA.
- Carbon and alloy steel fittings and flanges: Four commissioners recommended tariffs of 13% in Year 1 declining to 7% in Year 3. Three of the four recommended a fourth year tariff of 4%. Two each recommended including Canada and/or Mexico in the remedies.
The remaining two commissioners opted for 30% tariffs, declining in stages to 21% in the fourth year. One recommended that the penalties apply to Canada and Mexico.
- Stainless steel fittings and flanges: Only three of the six commissioners voted in favor of relief for this category, and all three recommended different remedies. One commissioner voted for a 15% tariff declining in stages to 6% by Year 4. Another opted for a 30% tariff declining to 20% by Year 3, including Canada and Mexico. The third commissioner opted for an import quota equal to the average quantity of imports during 1996-98, including Canada and Mexico, but excluding Israel, Jordan and beneficiary countries under the Caribbean Basic Recovery Act and Andean Trade Preference Act.