President Bush's decision to impose temporary tariffs on certain steel imports drew applause from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Andrew G. Sharkey, president and CEO of AISI, commended the move, noting that 'it sends the signal that, henceforth, America will no longer serve as the world's steel dumping ground.'
'While the import relief program announced today is not everything the U.S. steel industry felt was needed to address effectively the crisis in this industry, the President deserves great credit for resisting the intense pressures to do nothing or to impose considerably less relief,' said Sharkey in an AISI statement. 'It also shows that the President understands that a strong domestic steel industry is essential to the long-term interest of U.S. steel-using industries, the U.S. economy and U.S. national security.'
Over the coming weeks, a number of important technical details in the Section 201 import relief program will need to be fleshed out. In this regard, Sharkey stated that, 'AISI and its U.S. member companies hope to work closely with the Department of Commerce and others to ensure that the trade relief program announced today is as effective as possible.'
Sharkey noted that the U.S. steel industry continues to face huge challenges, including how best to overcome the main impediments to consolidation.
'Over the coming months, AISI s U.S. member companies and others look forward to working closely with members of Congress and the Administration to establish the appropriate role of government in removing the barriers to necessary consolidation and rationalization of this industry,' he said.
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