By John S. McClenahen A decrease in shipments of foreign-produced reinforcement bars and semifinished products were primarily responsible for October's 6% decline in steel imports, reveal the most-recent U.S. Commerce Dept. data. However, imports of steel products for the first 10 months of this year were 12% from the comparable 1999 period. Imports of semi-finished steel were up 7%; finished steel imports were up 14%. Steel prices remain depressed in the U.S., and the Clinton Administration's steel strategy, announced July 26, seems to have had little effect so far. Congress has gotten into the act, with a controversial provision sponsored by Sen. Robert Byrd (D, W.Va.) promising to channel anti-dumping duties to U.S. steelmakers. And when the final report of the federal Trade Deficit Review Commission was released two weeks ago, George Becker, president of the United Steelworkers of America, charged that a 30-year history of unfair trade practices and steel-market distorting trade policies "have wiped out vast numbers of jobs, communities, and the steel companies that support them across the United States."