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ITC Pulls Plug on Steel Tariffs

(Akron/Tire Review) Automakers and other users of high-grade steel won a major victory yesterday when the International Trade Commission revoked all tariffs and duties it had previously placed on imported steel.

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A coalition of automakers – including Toyota, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Nissan, General Motors and Honda – had sought removal of the 13-year-old tariffs, which impacted carbon steel plate from 16 countries.

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In addition, the ITC also dropped tariffs on corrosion-resistant steel imported from Canada, Japan, France and Australia.

At the same time, ITC said it would retain duties on steel imported from South Korea and Germany.

The move was considered a blow to the United Steelworkers union. The tariffs and duties were put in place in 1993 to eliminate dumping of low-priced and state subsidized steel from overseas, which had threatened domestic steelmakers.

The ITC took the action even after the Commerce Department said that dumping of low-cost goods would restart if the tariffs were lifted. The ITC ruling may yet be appealed to the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York.

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