NAFTA Steel Sectors Form New Group

As the United States, Mexico and Canada approach the 10th anniversary of the implementation of NAFTA, the countries' three steel industries are tightening their ties. The inaugural meeting of the intergovernmental "North American Steel Trade Committee" (NASTC) took place in Mexico City in late November, with representatives of the NAFTA governments and four major steel industry associations in North America: the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA), the Mexican Steel Producers Association (CANACERO) and the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA). The participants have pledged to consider ways to promote further openness in the North American steel market and address the common challenges facing the steel industry in the NAFTA region. At the November meeting, hosted by the government of Mexico, the committee reviewed a number of trade policy issues of mutual interest, including the pending OECD, WTO and FTAA negotiations. The group proposed to meet regularly, with the next meeting tentatively scheduled for Ottawa in mid-May 2004.

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