|U.S. Import Barriers Drop|
|Key Words||Protectionism, Tariffs, and Duties|
|News Story||The International Trade Commission acted in December, 2006 to end tariffs and duties on high-grade steel used in producing automobiles. The vote by the commission revoked tariffs and duties against carbon steel plate from 16 countries.
The commission is an independent federal agency charged with the task of determining import injury to U.S. firms and make recommendations for import remedies. Once laws are established the commission reviews the laws every five years.
The current review resulted in the removal of the tariffs and duties on high-grade steel from all but two countries. Germany and Korea will continue to face the duties that were first established as a protectionist effort in 1993.
The original trade barriers were established to protect United States steel makers from the dumping of low-priced and subsidized imports that almost destroyed the U.S. domestic steel industry in the 1990's.
The turn-around came as DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor, General Motors, Honda Motor and Toyota Motor joined together in support of the action to remove the barriers. The automakers contended that the trade barriers forced them to pay additional costs of $3 billion because of artificially high steel prices. The commissions vote offers an expectation of help for the struggling United States auto industry and manufacturers in dozens of other industries that use steel.
|Source||The Associated Press, "U.S. Drops Most Import Barriers to High-Grade Steel", The New York Times Online, December 15, 2006.|
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