|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2002
Rich Mills, USTR
Fact Sheet: Exclusion of Products from
Safeguard on Steel Products
Background on Review of Product Exclusion Requests
- 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.
- In a proclamation signed on July 3, 2002, the President extended the
deadline for processing exclusion requests to August 31, 2002 due to
the number of outstanding requests.
Details of Product Exclusions Announced on August 22, 2002
- Today's announcement will result in the exclusion of 178 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. This
is the last set of exclusions to be announced this year.
- 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, and stainless steel
- The requests to exclude these products were submitted by U.S. steel
consumers, as well as from foreign steel producers from a number of
- A complete description of the excluded products will be published
in the Federal Register by August 31, 2002.
Overview of Product Exclusions Announced
- A total of 727 products have been excluded from the safeguard since
March 5, 2002.
- These exclusions were granted for a wide range of steel products
from numerous countries.
- The requests that were granted properly recognize those instances
where a U.S. customer cannot obtain the required products domestically
and also fully meet the standard of not undermining the steel safeguard's
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 available from
- 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
- On March 5, 2002, the President also stated that USTR will announce
in March of each year in which the safeguard is in effect any additional
products to be excluded from the safeguard.
- The USTR published preliminary procedures for the annual consideration
of exclusion requests in the Federal Register on June 3, 2002.
- This process will likely be initiated in November 2002 and completed
by March 2003.