USTR - Statement of USTR Spokesman Richard Mills regarding WTO panel report on U.S. Section 201 safeguard measures on steel products
Office of the United States Trade Representative


Statement of USTR Spokesman Richard Mills regarding WTO panel report on U.S. Section 201 safeguard measures on steel products

“We are pleased that the panel rejected many of the challenges to the safeguard measures on steel products that the President imposed. However, where the panel found against the United States, we disagree, and we will appeal. In the meantime, the steel safeguard measures will remain in place.

“Safeguard measures are allowed under WTO rules. Many countries have used them. We believe the steel safeguard measures comply with our international obligations.

“In accordance with U.S. law and WTO rules, the safeguard is a temporary measure, designed to help domestic producers adjust to import competition.

“The tariff level is reduced by 20 percent every year. The first reduction occurred on March 20th.

“The steel safeguard measures are already working. The domestic steel industry has undergone an unprecedented level of consolidation and restructuring over the last year, making it more competitive with imports.

“The President has minimized the potential negative effects of the steel safeguard measures by excluding steel products if the exclusion would not undermine the safeguard. Last year, 727 exclusions were granted. In March, we granted 295 additional exclusions. For most of these, there was no opposition from domestic steel producers.

“In line with WTO rules and our own policy of assisting developing countries, imports from those countries were excluded unless they were more than three percent of total imports of a product. Our FTA partners (Canada, Mexico, Israel, and Jordan) were also excluded.

“The Administration has demonstrated its willingness to both defend and use these laws, and other trade remedy laws. We will continue to consider requests for safeguard measures from domestic producers.”

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