Industry Speaks Out on Steel Tariffs
Jun 23, 2003
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Joseph M. McGuire, president of the Associaton of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) testified before the International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding the tariffs on imported steel and their effect on the U.S. home appliance industry. The hearing was part of the ITC's congressionally requested study on the tariffs' impact on steel consuming industries. AHAM opposes the steel tariffs and believes that the program should be terminated in order to maintain excellent quality and consumer value for home appliances produced in the U.S. and to keep home appliance making jobs on U.S. soil. AHAM members produce more than 94 percent of the appliances shipped for sale each year within the U.S. and consume nearly 3 million tons of steel per year, most of which is hot- and cold-rolled and galvanized, supplied by domestic companies. As a direct result of the steel tariffs, implemented under section 201 of the Trade Act, AHAM says its members have experienced increased costs of steel products and oftentimes difficulties in obtaining quality steel from domestic steel producers. Several AHAM members said that they have seen purchase prices increase from 17 percent to 30 percent from pre-April 2002 levels. Increases from a year ago in steel prices on the spot market have averaged over 37 percent. AHAM says this dramatic increase has impacted appliance production, and in some cases, changed product assembly schedules. AHAM says that according to a study produced by The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC), more than 200,000 Americans lost their jobs as a result of higher steel prices in 2002, resulting in more than U.S. $4 billion in lost wages. Joseph M. McGuire stated, "We oppose the 201 steel safeguard tariffs and believe that the time has come to terminate the program. We do, however, hope for a resolution of the problem facing the domestic steel industry that provides them with the relief that they need, but at the same time does not harm our industry."

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