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STATEMENT FROM STEEL PRODUCERS ON FINAL COUNTERVAILING AND ANTIDUMPING DUTY MARGINS

 WASHINGTON, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued by leading American steel producers in response to today's announced decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce on final countervailing and antidumping duty margins against foreign steelmakers from 20 countries.
 The statement is by Curtis H. Barnette, chairman and CEO, Bethlehem Steel Corp. (NYSE: BS); Robert Darnall, chairman and CEO, Inland Steel Industries (NYSE: IAD); Robert H. Doerr, president and COO, National Steel Corp. (NYSE: NS); Thomas C. Graham, president and CEO, Armco Steel Company, L.P. (NYSE: AS); Robert J. Grow, CEO, Geneva Steel (NYSE: GNV); David H. Hoag, chairman and CEO, LTV Corp. (NYSE: QLTV); Robert L. Purdum, chairman and CEO, Armco Inc. (NYSE: AS), and Thomas J. Usher, president, U.S. Steel Group (USX Corp.) (NYSE: X).
 The final countervailing and antidumping duty margins announced by the Commerce Department today reaffirm the existence of massive unfair trade which has caused substantial injury to American producers and American workers.
 Today's decision confirms an egregious distortion of the international marketplace by foreign steel producers. While we believe there were instances in which the margins found by Commerce should have been larger, we applaud the Commerce Department for enforcing the trade laws.
 It is important to recognize that these cases are the GATT-approved method for dealing with market-distorting subsidies and dumping. If foreign countries use subsidies to gain market share in the United States that they otherwise would not be able to gain on the basis of cost or quality, or when they dump here at unfair prices because their own protected markets allow them to enjoy artificially high prices at home, the accepted rules of international trade allow the injured importing country to offset the effects of those distortions. That's the law -- and it's based on sound economics because a free market should determine competitive outcomes, not a market infected with huge public subsidies, dumping or other practices.
 Today's decision confirms that foreign practices -- not the U.S. cases -- are preventing market-based competition in steel. Contrary to foreign complaints, these cases will not stop free trade. They will counter unfair trade practices. The U.S. market is open today and will remain open to any steel producer that chooses to compete fairly according to international rules.
 It is also clear that today's decision comes at a time when foreign steelmakers are perpetuating severe overcapacity that threatens the entire global steel industry. American steel companies are, in fact, the only major steel producers in the world that have dealt with their share of the excess capacity crisis.
 U.S. producers have closed more than 450 facilities and modernized the rest by investing $35 billion in private funds in new technology and equipment since 1980. We know that the steel cases will force foreign producers to make some painful decisions, but restructuring is not painless. Just ask the 200,000-plus American steelworkers who lost their jobs because the market demanded that we downsize and restructure. Moreover, we have significant health care and pension liabilities as a result of this restructuring, and unfair trade has been a cause of these liabilities and legacy costs.
 Foreign steelmakers must stop exporting unemployment to the United States, they should stop complaining about U.S. trade policy, and they should start making the same tough decisions that American producers made years ago and continue to make today. Today's decision will help cause them to do just that.
 If the International Trade Commission determines that foreign unfair trade practices have been a cause of injury to U.S. producers, and we are confident that the ITC will reach such a conclusion next month, then steel can become a normal industry where international trade is shaped by market forces. Otherwise, the global steel industry will take a giant step down the path of permanent distortion and the United States will be hurt the most. Foreign unfair trade would continue to erode the revenue base of U.S. producers, and our nation would lose more steel- sector manufacturing jobs -- precisely the kind the new administration pledged to maintain and create.
 Thus, we are pleased that Secretary Brown rejected requests by several importing nations to suspend these investigations, and we will continue to urge the Clinton administration to reject foreign calls for a settlement. Such a resolution would do nothing to redress the underlying causes of trade distortion. The cases should proceed and offsetting remedies should be imposed.
 Finally, today's decision will not disrupt the U.S. market or hurt businesses that depend on low-cost steel. Our market is and will remain intensely competitive, and American producers, big and small, are more than capable of responding to increased demand for high quality steel products.
 It is ironic that when U.S. steelmakers filed cases in the early 1980s against subsidized and dumped imports, critics charged that U.S. producers were not fully competitive and that our biggest problem was high-cost excess capacity at home, not foreign trade. Today, the situation is different. We took the bitter medicine recommended by so many of our critics -- and recognized as necessary by so many of us in the industry. As a result, we're now the low-cost producers for the U.S. market, and we're actually the most efficient steel producers in the world by any objective measure. It's worth adding that our prices today are on average the same level as they were in the 1980s.
 In short, our companies and our employees have made the sacrifices and investments needed to become fully competitive. And our companies and our government have the right to insist that the trade laws be enforced against foreign producers who continue to undermine the U.S. market.
 -0- 6/22/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Johnson or Catherine Kaliniak of Sawyer/Miller Group, 202-457-6379, for the steel producers; Alan McCoy, Armco Steel, 413-425-2826; Henry Von Spreckelsen, Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-5896; Jack Morris, Inland Steel, 312-899-3168; Mark Tomasch, LTV Steel, 216-622-4635; Bob Toothman, National Steel, 219-273-7000; or Tom Ferrall, USX/U.S. Steel Group, 412-433-6899/
 (BS IAD NS AS GNV QLTV X)


CO: Bethlehem Steel Corp.; Inland Steel Industries; National Steel
 Corp.; Armco Steel Company, L.P.; Geneva Steel; LTV Corp.; Armco
 Inc.; U.S. Steel Group ST: District of Columbia IN: MNG SU: EXE


KD-DS -- DC017 -- 4747 06/22/93 17:48 EDT
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Date:Jun 22, 1993
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