|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 21, 2003
Fact Sheet: Exclusion of Products from
Safeguard on Steel Products and Automatic
Adjustment of the Remedy
Background on Review of Product Exclusion Requests
- On March 5, 2002, the President decided to impose temporary safeguards
on imports of steel products as a result of the Section 201 investigation
of steel products.
- The President instructed the USTR to complete its deliberations on
exclusion requests pending at the time, and to consider new exclusion
requests to be announced in March of each year in which the safeguard
is in effect.
- The USTR published preliminary procedures for the annual consideration
of exclusion requests in the Federal Register on June 3, 2002. The USTR
then published further procedures for the consideration of such requests
in the Federal Register on November 19, 2002 and December 31, 2002.
- Under these procedures, parties were required to submit product exclusion
requests with the USTR and the Department of Commerce by December 10,
- In November of 2002, the Department of Commerce and the USTR held
a public meeting and teleconference to explain the exclusion process
to small businesses and other consumers. The Department of Commerce
and the USTR subsequently held a series of meetings beginning in February
to discuss individual exclusion requests with both requesting and objecting
Details of Product Exclusions Announced
- Today's announcement will result in the exclusion of 295 products.
A total of 661 exclusion requests were received.
- Out of the 295 exclusion requests granted, 208 of those requests
did not receive any objections from the domestic steel industry.
- The products to be excluded cover a broad range of steel products
(including plate products, hot-rolled products, cold-rolled products,
corrosion-resistant products, tin mill products, pipe and tube, flanges
and stainless steel products) from numerous countries. Many of the exclusions
granted were for small-volume niche products.
- The requests to exclude these products were submitted by U.S. steel
consumers, as well as from foreign steel producers from a number of
- Exclusions were granted when the factual record showed that steel
consumers were not able to obtain the required products for their needs
because domestic mills do not currently produce the product in sufficient
quantity and that no domestic product was available that could serve
as a functional substitute. With respect to all exclusions that were
granted, USTR and Commerce determined that granting the exclusion would
not undermine the steel safeguard's relief.
- In order to avoid undermining the effect of the steel safeguard remedy,
many of these exclusions are subject to volume caps less than the amounts
imported in 2001. Other than the exclusions subject to volume caps,
the actual volume of imports covered by the exclusions will depend upon
supply and demand in the steel market and end-user requirements.
- A complete description of the excluded products will be published
in the Federal Register by March 31, 2003.
- A total of 727 products were also previously excluded from the safeguard
Basis for Consideration of Product Exclusion Requests
- Neither U.S. law nor our WTO obligations require excluding products
from the safeguard on steel products.
- The purpose of granting product exclusions is to ensure that U.S.
steel consumers can obtain steel products that are not currently available
in sufficient quantities from domestic sources.
- The President also clearly stated that we would not grant exclusions
that would undermine the steel safeguard.
- These standards were the sole bases for judging each exclusion request
- In analyzing exclusion requests, the Department and USTR considered:
(1) whether the product is currently being produced in the United States;
(2) whether substitution of the product is possible; (3) whether qualification
requirements affect the requestor's ability to use domestic products;
(4) inventories; (5) whether the requested product is under development
by a U.S. producer who will imminently be able to produce it in marketable
quantities; and (6) any other relevant factors.
- We carefully considered all parties' information and, where necessary,
actively consulted with them before determining whether to grant each
- This was a difficult and technical process, requiring the analysis
of an enormous amount of information regarding U.S. consumers' product
needs and U.S. producers' production capabilities.
Annual Consideration of Exclusion Requests
- The next round of consideration of exclusion requests will be initiated
in November 2003 and completed by March 2004. The steel safeguard remedy
is then scheduled to terminate in March 2005.
Adjustment of Steel Safeguard Remedy