‘Consumers, workers and producers will bear the brunt of this tariff-hike,’ says Reinsch
Washington DC -In the wake of President Bush’s decision to impose stiff tariffs on foreign steel imports, the National Foreign Trade Council expressed deep concern over the global political and economic ramifications the move will have on the U.S. economy and future U.S. trade agreements.
“We can’t afford to weaken U.S. leadership in the global community – we need to open markets, not close them,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council. “The U.S. has a leadership role in a number of important trade liberalization initiatives already underway, including the FTAA and the Doha Round. This decision will only weaken our position.”
Reinsch also argued that the President’s decision on steel tariffs will complicate negotiations with the EU on the WTO dispute over the U.S. Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) tax law.
“The tariff decision will have a ripple effect on a wide range of American companies and workers that rely on fairly traded steel imports. Imposing a 30 percent tariff on steel imports will raise costs to U.S.-based users of steel and undermine the competitive position of many American exporters. Consumers, workers and producers will bear the brunt of this tariff-hike,” said Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President for Trade and Export Finance.
In March 2001, the NFTC proposed a major initiative calling for a progressive elimination of industrial tariffs as a centerpiece of a new World Trade Organization (WTO) Round.
“Industrial tariffs remain a significant market access barrier and cost consumers billions each year on a worldwide basis. This decision is counterproductive to our efforts to tackle these market access barriers in important trade liberalization negotiations underway in the WTO and elsewhere, said Reinsch.