|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2002
Rich Mills, USTR
Fact Sheet: Exclusionof Products
from Safeguard on Steel Products
Background on Review of Product Exclusion
Details of Product Exclusions Announced on June 24, 2002
- On March 5, the President decided to impose temporary safeguards on
imports of steel products as a result of the Section 201 investigation
of steel products.
- During the investigation, the Department of Commerce ("the Department")
and the Office of the United States Trade Representative ("USTR")
established procedures allowing parties to request that certain imported
steel products be excluded from any safeguard remedy if they are not
sufficiently available from domestic sources.
- Due to the volume of such requests, the Department and USTR were able
to analyze and recommend to the President to exclude only a portion
of the submitted exclusion requests by March 5.
- As a result, the President stated on March 5 that the Department and
USTR have an additional 120 days, to July 3, 2002, to complete their
consideration of pending exclusion requests.
- Furthermore, the Department and USTR subsequently invited parties
to submit new product exclusion requests by May 20, 2002.
- On June 7, 2002, the first set of exclusions was announced resulting
in the exclusion of 61 products from the safeguard remedy.
- On June 17, 2002, the second set of exclusions was announced resulting
in the exclusion of 47 products from the safeguard remedy.
Basis for Consideration of Product Exclusion Requests
- Today's announcement will result in the exclusion of 116 products.
These exclusions are the result of requests that were pending on March
5, 2002, as well as new requests that were filed by May 20, 2002.
- The products to be excluded cover a broad range of steel products,
including plate, hot-rolled products, tin mill products, cold-rolled
products, stainless steel bar, corrosion resistant products, hot-rolled
bar, cold finished bar, stainless steel wire, and welded pipe and tube.
These are mostly specialized, niche products.
- The requests to exclude these products were submitted by U.S. steel
consumers, as well as foreign steel producers from a number of countries.
- A complete description of the excluded products will be published
in the Federal Register by July 3, 2002.
Procedures for Review of Product Exclusion Requests
- Excluding products from the safeguard on steel products is not required
by either U.S. law or our WTO obligations.
- Exclusions are being considered because it is recognized that not
all steel products are commercially available in the United States.
They are being granted in order to ensure that the safeguard on steel
products does not harm U.S. steel consumers.
- The Department and USTR are considering product exclusion requests
on a case-by-case basis.
- We will grant only those exclusions that do not undermine the purpose
of the safeguard action.
- In analyzing exclusion requests, the Department and USTR are considering:
(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.
- On April 8, 2002, USTR and the Department announced procedures for
considering pending pre-March 5 product exclusion requests.
- Under these procedures, parties with outstanding exclusion requests
were required to reconfirm their continued interest in their requests
and to submit additional information by April 23. Sufficient information
was received for a total of 469 product exclusion requests.
- Parties objecting to those requests were then required to submit information
by May 13.
- Also on April 8, 2002, USTR and the Department announced procedures
for considering new product exclusion requests.
- Under these procedures, parties with new product exclusion requests
were required to submit their requests by May 20, 2002.
- Groups of new requests have been posted on USTR's website for comment
on a rolling basis. The group of new requests containing those being
announced today were posted for comment on June 5, 2002 and objections
to that group were due on June 19, 2002. USTR and Commerce will continue
to review all remaining exclusion requests from this group and other
groups that have been or will be posted for comment.
- Every effort is being made to process requests as soon as possible.