ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Steel : Protectionism Won't Work

The agreement on capacity cuts in steel reached at the Paris meeting of producing countries this month is under threat of being undermined by a US proposal to impose tariffs on imports. The International Trade Commission, a US government agency, has recommended duties of up to 40 per cent on most import items, in a bid to protect the high-cost, loss-making US steel industry. Steel exports to the US, including from India, will virtually dry up if president Bush endorses the tariffs in February 2002. The European Union has already declared that the Paris deal would not be implemented if the US went ahead with its import curbs. The EU is also preparing for action at the WTO if the US does not back off. With the hardening of positions, some tough bargaining must precede any concerted international effort to shore up the global steel industry, which is facing its worst crisis in decades, with a production glut and poor demand pushing down prices to 20-year lows.



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