Administration announced its Steel Initiative on June
containing three elements. First,
the President directed the USTR to request that the USITC initiate an
investigation under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. Following the USITC’s finding of serious
injury to the U.S.
industry, in March 2002, the President imposed temporary safeguards on steel
imports: tariffs on ten steel
product groups, and a tariff-rate quota (TRQ) on steel slab. Second, the President directed the USTR,
in cooperation with the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury, to work with our
trading partners to eliminate inefficient excess capacity in the steel industry
worldwide. Finally, the President
directed the USTR, together with the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury, to
initiate negotiations on the rules to govern steel trade, so as to eliminate the
underlying market-distorting subsidies that led to the oversupply conditions of
the global steel industry in 2001.
In December 2003, President Bush concluded that the safeguard measures
had achieved their purpose, and as a result of changed economic circumstances,
maintaining the measures was no longer warranted. USTR continues to work to address
the root causes of distortions in the world steel market.
Steel Import Monitoring
In his proclamation terminating the safeguards, the President
continued the Administration’s steel import monitoring and analysis (SIMA)
program, established in 2002 concurrently with the steel safeguards, and
administered by the Department of Commerce. The SIMA program is an easy-to use,
web-based licensing system for steel imports that provides timely, clear
information on the steel market and does not restrict trade.