The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) announced that it and other members of the U.S. steel industry are disappointed with the ruling recently issued by the WTO Appellate Body in which several countries, including the European Union (EU), expressed their opposition to U.S. steel tariffs.
AISI said it was speaking on behalf the overall U.S. steel industry, specifically such organizations as Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), the United Steel Workers of America, and the Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI).
“On behalf of the U.S. members of the referenced steel trade associations and union, we express our disappointment, but not surprise, with the WTO Appellate Body ruling issued…on the WTO legality of the Steel 201 Safeguard Program and reaffirm our strong commitment to President Bush’s Steel Program and the need to continue undiluted for the full, intended 3-year period,” the organization said in a statement.
“This latest negative WTO decision is based on bias, not facts,” the statement read. “It is one more striking example of the broken WTO dispute settlement system, which has never ruled in favor of a safeguard on any product by any country. If there was ever a justification to use WTO-sanctioned safeguard law, the situation facing America’s steel industry at the time the President decided to initiate his 201 investigation was a classic case.”
The steel organization urged U.S. President Bush “to defend vigorously his steel safeguard measures and not to give any more weight to the EU threats than they are due under the law, which is none.”
According to AISI, the EU cannot impose $2.2 billion in immediate retaliation because the WTO law requires the U.S. to be given a “reasonable period of time” to comply with a decision, and the EU must seek express WTO authorization before imposed retaliatory measures.
“The EU threat is inconsistent with both the letter and the spirit of the Safeguard Agreement and the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding,” the steel organization said.
“The steel industry is a test case for the problems facing all segments of U.S. manufacturing,” it continued. “The way to send a clear message that the U.S. is truly committed to a level playing field for domestic manufacturers is to keep the President's steel tariffs intact.”
to Daily News