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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2002
  Contact: Julie Cram, DOC
(202) 482-3809
Rich Mills, USTR
(202) 395-3230

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND USTR ANNOUNCE FINAL SET OF PRODUCTS TO BE EXCLUDED FROM SAFEGUARD ON STEEL PRODUCTS

Today the Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the release of the seventh and final set of products to be excluded from the safeguard measure on steel products this year.

In accordance with World Trade Organization rules designed to allow for the temporary restructuring of a domestic industry, the President announced temporary steel safeguard measures on March 5, 2002. The President directed the Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative to consider requests to exclude certain products from the safeguard action. In addition, parties were invited to submit new product exclusion requests by May 20, 2002.

The President's March 5 announcement set a July 3, 2002, deadline for completing this process and publishing a complete description of granted pending product exclusion requests in the Federal Register. In a proclamation signed on July 3, 2002, the President extended the deadline for processing exclusion requests to August 31, 2002.

Today, 178 products were excluded because it was determined that they are not sufficiently available from U.S. producers and that excluding these products would not undermine the effectiveness of the safeguard on steel products. The decision to exclude these products was based upon a full consideration of information submitted by U.S. steel consumers, U.S. steel producers and foreign steel producers. This is part of the Administration's objective of providing relief only where needed in the steel industry and to avoid burdening U.S. steel consumers. A list and a short description of the excluded products may be found on USTR's website: www.ustr.gov.

Including the exclusions announced today, a total of 727 products have been excluded from the steel safeguard measures since they were announced on March 5, 2002.

This concludes the review of all pending exclusion requests that were filed on or before May 20, 2002. There will be another opportunity later this year for parties to submit exclusion requests for consideration by March 2003. This process will be initiated in November 2002.

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