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SSCI SEES NO SOLUTION IN TRADE DECISIONS, URGES PROMPT CONCLUSION OF MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT

 CLEVELAND, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- "For steel service centers in North America, today's decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) provides no permanent solution to the steel problem," said Arnold W. Bradburd, chairman of the Steel Service Center Institute's (SSCI) board of directors.
 Bradburd recalled that since 1988, SSCI has consistently urged the U.S. government to seek a permanent solution through a comprehensive, universal, enforceable and effective multilateral steel agreement (MSA). Such an agreement would toughen disciplines on subsidies, improve access to foreign steel markets and expand the scope of U.S. trade law.
 "We urge the Clinton Administration to take advantage of the opening created at the Tokyo summit meeting to press our trading partners to enter into serious negotiations aimed at producing a multilateral agreement before the end of this year," said Bradburd.
 While not all service centers will agree with each aspect of the commission's complex determination, SSCI commends the USITC for its exhaustive investigation. "The commission compiled a massive record of facts, figures, and testimony. We will not second-guess their decision," added Bradburd.
 Bradburd noted that the precise impact on the market is hard to gauge. The mixed result will permit some foreign producers to continue to sell a portion of their product line in the U.S., while others will not be able to do so, at least for some time. Other competitive elements -- demand, relative prices in the U.S. and abroad, and exchange rates -- must be factored into the calculations, recognizing that they are dynamic and will change over time.
 Steel service centers are in the business of sourcing competitively priced steel to meet the quality demands of more than 300,000 customers. "Anything that undermines the ability of steel end-users to compete internationally is of concern to service centers -- and ought to be equally troubling to steel producers and to the government," said Bradburd.
 At the same time, SSCI members have a significant stake in the vitality of the American mills. SSCI has publicly stated, a "world in which most producers make little or no money is inherently unstable," and is threatening to service centers and their customers. Prices for both imported and domestic steel had fallen to dangerously low levels, so the institute's member companies fully understood the domestic mills' need to achieve higher price realizations. "We remain concerned that however successful and aggressive antidumping and countervailing cases may be, they provide only temporary relief and fail to address fundamental steel trade problems," observed Bradburd.
 "So, if this process goes no further, some steel consumers in the U.S. could be placed at a disadvantage in international competition without creating any lasting advantage for the mills. That would be bad for steel consumers, bad for service centers, and ultimately bad for the mills themselves," Bradburd concluded.
 The Steel Service Center Institute is a trade association representing the interests of the North American steel service center industry. Steel service centers purchase and distribute about 30 percent of all carbon industrial steel products and nearly 45 percent of all stainless steel produced in North America.
 Steel service centers are the largest single customer group of the North American steel industry and serve the metal supply needs of manufacturers and fabricators through plant locations in the U.S. and Canada.
 -0- 7/27/93
 /CONTACT: Arnold W. Bradburd of Interstate Steel Supply Company, Inc., 215-673-0300, for Steel Service Center Institute/


CO: U.S. International Trade Commission; Steel Service Center Institute ST: Ohio IN: MNG SU:

KL -- CL023 -- 6379 07/27/93 15:54 EDT
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Date:Jul 27, 1993
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