Industries Await Reaction On Steel Review

By Tonya Vinas Steel manufacturers, consumers and foreign trading partners will be anxiously awaiting a reaction from President Bush to today's midterm review of steel tariffs by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The controversial tariffs, part of a program to help domestic steel makers, have been hailed as necessary relief to unfair trade practices by steel makers and as the cause of escalating costs and lost market share by some steel consumers. Additionally, the European Union stands ready to impose retaliatory tariffs against a slew of U.S. imports pending the outcome of a U.S. appeal to the World Trade Organization, which gave its OK to Europe to retaliate earlier this year. Bush imposed the tariffs against a variety of imported steel goods in March 2002, and they could last as long as three years. The midterm review by the ITC has been partially derived from manufacturers' testimony in favor of or and against the tariffs. Because the tariffs are by presidential order, Bush is free to ignore the report altogether or alter the tariffs program in response to it.

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