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July 17, 2002
  Contact: Julie Cram
(202) 482-3809

US Welcomes EU Engagement to End Global Steel Crisis

"We welcome the European initiative to reach an international agreement on the crisis facing the global steel industry," said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas. "We will, of course, be interested in learning the details of the EU proposal, but seeing our European partners enlist in the campaign begun by President Bush last summer to address the problem of overcapacity in the steel market worldwide represents an extremely positive step."

Over a year ago President Bush called for negotiations, led through the 31-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), designed to eliminate the 200 million tons of excess capacity worldwide and to agree on new disciplines on market-distorting practices and government subsidies that led to that glut.

"European engagement in a process that has thus far produced forecasts of the elimination of approximately 125 million tons of excess capacity and a commitment to discuss future disciplines, would be a welcome and constructive step," said Aldonas.

Since the President's call for action, participants in the OECD led process have met six times to seek creative solutions to the longstanding structural problems of the global steel market. The next meeting is scheduled for September.

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