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STATEMENT ISSUED BY BETHLEHEM STEEL CHAIRMAN AND CEO CURTIS H. BARNETTE ON TODAY'S U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE RULING ON STEEL TRADE CASES

 BETHLEHEM, Pa., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Bethlehem Steel Corporation (NYSE: BS) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Curtis H. Barnette today issued the following statement relating to today's ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce on steel trade cases:
 The extent of unfair trade and the injury caused to domestic steel producers by unfairly traded steel imports has been made clear by the decisions of our government in the flat rolled carbon steel cases.
 On November 30 the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) ruled that each of the 12 countries named in our petitions was properly charged with unfair trade through subsidies to their home steel industries. Preliminary margins ranged from 1 percent to 90 percent. Today's preliminary ruling on antidumping margins indicates that steel producers in each of 19 nations have been dumping their products in the U.S. market, with margins ranging from 1 percent to over 100 percent. The combined margins for most products from most countries exceed 20 percent and exceed 100 percent in several instances. Such margins represent clear violations of U.S. trade laws.
 The volume of unfairly traded imports has continued to increase. Through 11 months of 1992, imports of the products covered by the cases increased by 26 percent over 1991's comparable period. All this, despite DOC's compelling evidence of unfair trade and how noncompetitive foreign steel suppliers are when foreign subsidies and their true costs are recognized. This is particularly injurious at a time when domestic producers' costs for health care and pensions are increasing, and these are costs handled in different, more favorable ways in most other countries. It is imperative that U.S. trade laws be fully enforced.
 U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws are consistent with international law and are designed to compensate for price discrimination in the international marketplace. Dumping margins of the magnitude announced by the DOC could not occur if foreign producers were not subsidized and their markets were truly open. Foreign producers and their governments, large and small, are still unwilling to stop subsidies and open their markets to fair trade in steel, as reflected by the lack of progress to date in achieving a comprehensive, effective and enforceable Multilateral Steel Agreement.
 Domestic steel producers appreciate the enforcement of our trade laws to date and believe the interests of our companies, customers, employees, stockholders and communities will be served as we press ahead with these cases. U.S. imports of steel mill products will be affected in the near term as bonds reflecting the amounts of combined dumping and subsidy margins must be posted for imports that enter U.S. commerce. Over the next several months, DOC will complete its analysis of foreign subsidy and pricing practices, probably issuing final dumping and subsidy margins some time in June 1993. A final decision by the International Trade Commission on injury to the domestic industry caused by unfairly traded imports is due 45 days after the DOC's final margins are announced.
 The evidence is compelling, and we are confident that justice will be done by enforcing our trade laws.
 We are the low cost, high quality producers for the U.S. market. All we want is to have our laws enforced, and to have a fair chance to compete in our home market. Our objective is to provide good jobs in a fully competitive steel industry ready to meet the challenges of rebuilding America's infrastructure and regaining the preeminence of its manufacturing sector.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: H.H. Von Spreckelsen, manager, corporate communications of Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-3711/
 (BS)


CO: Bethlehem Steel Corporation; U.S. Department of Commerce ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:

CC -- PH044 -- 9966 01/27/93 18:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 27, 1993
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