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SPECIALTY STEEL INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO EXPIRATION OF VOLUNTARY RESTRAINT AGREEMENTS

 SPECIALTY STEEL INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO EXPIRATION OF
 VOLUNTARY RESTRAINT AGREEMENTS
 WASHINGTON, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- "We are gravely disappointed that the administration has allowed the Voluntary Restraint Agreements (VRAs) on specialty steel to expire," said Robert E. Heaton, chairman of the Specialty Steel Industry of the United States (SSIUS). "The failure of today's negotiations in Geneva to conclude a multilateral steel agreement underscores the need for the administration to reevaluate its decision. With no disciplines in place to control the subsidization of foreign specialty steel production, there is more reason than ever to extend the specialty steel VRAs, and it is not too late."
 Heaton referred to a Feb. 24, 1992, letter to President Bush, co- signed by Heaton and Lynn Williams, president of the United Steelworkers of America, urging the president to continue VRA coverage on specialty steels for another three years and requesting a meeting to explain the industry's position. He quoted President Bush's July 25, 1989, order relating to the VRA program:
 "I am also directing Ambassador Hills to seek to negotiate, through the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and complementary bilateral agreements, an international consensus to provide effective disciplines over government aid and intervention in the steel sector and to lower barriers to global trade in steel. The international consensus will contain three elements:
 -- Strong disciplines over trade-distorting government subsidies;
 -- Lowering of trade barriers so as to ensure market access; and
 -- Enforcement measures to deal with violations of consensus obligations."
 "Notwithstanding the sincere intentions of the administration, the negotiations have been unsuccessful and an MSA will not go into place to impose discipline on foreign governments that have been willing to support their specialty steel industry. Let's make no mistake, government subsidies are a way of life in many parts of the world. Only at peril to our industry and workers do we discard what has proved so effective for specialty steel," said Heaton. "Excessive global capacity exists, and dumping remains the market development tactic of choice by foreign specialty steel makers who seek entry into the U.S. market at any cost. Our nation must defend against the unfair trade practices that have plagued our nation for so many years. The VRAs have proved an effective tool and should be renewed."
 The Specialty Steel Industry of the United States represents virtually all U.S. producers of stainless and alloy tool steels, heat-resisting steels, electrical steels, super alloys, and other high technology steels. The industry employs approximately 35,000 people, with annual shipments of more than $6 billion.
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Bert Delano of Specialty Steel Industry of the United States, 412-394-2813; or Meg Mullery, 202-342-8439, for the Specialty Steel Industry of the United States/ CO: Specialty Steel Industry of the United States ST: District of Columbia IN: MNG SU:


MK -- DC028 -- 3584 03/31/92 16:40 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1992
Words:475
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