USTR studies effects of higher U.S. steel tariffs
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative spokesman said the USTR is reviewing reports on the impact of temporary higher tariffs imposed on steel imports by the Bush administration in March 2002.
Two U.S. International Trade Commission released midterm studies Sept. 19 on three-year tariff measures introduced under Section 201 of U.S. trade law aimed to help the U.S. steel industry against foreign competition. The ITC studies are available online at http://www.usitc.gov/pub3632/pub3632.htm.
The studies say the temporary tariffs had marginal effects, helping the steel industry while hurting the economy, while steel-consuming industries such as automakers were particularly impacted.
President Bush must decide in the next few weeks whether to continue imposing the tariffs through the second half of the three-year safeguard period as planned. Under Section 201, the president may impose temporary tariffs or quotas when a U.S. industry has been impacted by a surge in imports.
A World Trade Organization dispute-settlement panel has ruled that the Section 201 steel tariffs violate WTO obligations. The USTR has appealed the ruling.