ATP, Steel Loan Guarantees Slated For Termination

By John S. McClenahen If Congress goes along with President Bush's 2004 fiscal year budget proposals for the Department of Commerce, the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and federal guarantees under the 1999 Emergency Steel Loan Guarantee Act will be history. The Bush administration contends that other federally funded R&D programs are more effective than ATP, asserts that substantial shares of ATP funding have gone to major corporations that don't need subsidies, and claims ATP projects have "often been similar" to projects being done by firms not receiving ATP funds. The administration proposes rescinding the remaining $26 million from the 4-year-old steel loan guarantee program, for which apparently there's been little demand. "Moreover, one of the two guarantees issued, a $110 million loan to Geneva Steel, is already in default, leaving taxpayers to pick up the loss," the White House notes.

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