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LAMY REVIVES STEEL 'PRIOR SURVEILLANCE' TO COMBAT US MEASURES.

European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy is to revive the 'prior surveillance' system of monitoring steel imports, in the face of new measures by the United States to restrict foreign steel. "To ensure that we are well placed to react quickly to any surge in imports, I see no alternative other than recourse to a measure which may sound boringly technical but is not any less important for that," said Mr Lamy in London on December 13. "I have therefore decided to reintroduce prior surveillance of steel imports as soon as the necessary legal steps can be taken. This will ensure that we have the latest possible information about import trends so that we can respond as necessary, and as quickly as necessary."The system, designed to keep tabs on steel import flows in case any swift trade defence measure was needed, was abolished at the end of 2000. With the 2002 expiry of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty, the Commission said at the time it was appropriate to treat steel in the same way as other industries.Mr Lamy also complained in his speech that the recommendations by a US agency to slap duties of up to 40% on foreign steel imports were "blatant protectionism" (see previous edition of European Report). He welcomed calls for multilateral talks on steel in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) but said: "Let's use the OECD process properly, and not conduct international negotiations with a gun to the head and a policy best summarised as - 'Stop me before I kill again!'"...JJ:(LC)

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Title Annotation:steel imports; Pascal Lamay
Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EU
Date:Dec 15, 2001
Words:264
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