CITAC Study Shows 200,000 U.S. Jobs Lost Nationwide From High Steel Prices in 2002 - Steel Tariffs an Important Cause

More American Workers Lost Their Jobs Last Year Due to Higher Steel

Prices Than Total Number Employed by U.S. Steel Producers



Feb 04, 2003, 00:00 ET from CITAC Steel Task Force

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the Consuming Industries
 Trade Action Coalition Steel Task Force (CITAC STF) announced findings today
 from a study that reveals that higher steel prices -- caused in large part by
 the Section 201 steel tariffs imposed in March 2002 -- resulted in the loss of
 nearly 200,000 American jobs.
     The study, "The Unintended Consequences of U.S. Steel Import Tariffs: A
 Quantification of the Impact during 2002," shows that more American workers
 lost their jobs in 2002 to higher steel costs than the total number employed
 by the U.S. steel industry.  It reveals that the lost jobs represent
 approximately $4 billion in lost wages over ten months (February - November)
 last year.
     "This study proves what steel consumers across the country have been
 reporting for nearly a year -- that the steel tariffs are devastating to many
 steel consuming businesses, especially small businesses," stated William
 Gaskin, President of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and member
 of CITAC STF.
     Gaskin continued, "Every state lost employment as a result of the higher
 steel costs.  While steelmaking jobs in some states may have been protected as
 a result of tariffs, steel consumers were not as fortunate.  More than 12
 million Americans work in steel consuming jobs, compared to approximately
 190,000 in the steel-producing sector.  We cannot continue to have a trade
 policy that protects a few at the expense of the majority.  We hope that the
 Bush Administration will now pay attention to those American families who have
 greatly suffered from the steel tariffs."
     California, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida
 experienced the highest job losses from increased steel costs.  Job losses in
 these states ranged from 8,370 in Florida, to more than double that in
 California, with 19,390 jobs lost.  Sixteen states lost at least 4,500 steel
 consuming jobs each in 2002 due to higher steel prices.
     Lewis Leibowitz, Counsel to the CITAC STF noted, "The Bush Administration
 has an opportunity to terminate or modify the tariffs during the mid-point
 review process, which is to begin in a few weeks.  The mid-point review is
 conducted by the International Trade Commission (ITC) and must be completed by
 September 20, 2003.  While the ITC is required to examine the efforts of steel
 producers to make a positive adjustment to import competition, the Commission
 is under no obligation to consider the effects of the tariffs on steel
 consuming industries unless specifically directed by President Bush."
     "We join Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and the bipartisan group of 51 co-
 sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution 23 which calls on President Bush to
 direct the ITC to look at the impact of the Section 201 tariffs on steel
 consumers in the U.S.," continued Gaskin. "It is the common sense approach to
 analyze the tariffs' impact on both producers and consumers.  The President
 should insist on having all the facts on the table before making any
 decisions.  These job losses do not have to continue to escalate."
     Jim Zawacki, President of GR Spring & Stamping, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-
 based company that manufactures metal stampings, stated, "I am very nervous at
 what will happen if the tariffs aren't repealed.  Our company's mission is to
 be the 'best at what we do,' but how can we when the tariffs have made us
 unable to compete effectively?  We can't pass higher prices on to our
 customers.  Since March 2002, we have experienced delays and shortages, we've
 lost major customers to foreign competitors, and I've had to let employees go
 ... this can't go on."
     Zawacki continued, "Last year, we wrote to the Bush Administration to
 voice opposition to the restrictions on steel imports.  Now, almost a full
 year after the tariffs were imposed, all I want to know is what makes steel
 producers' jobs more important than the jobs of 200,000 steel consumers?"
     The study, conducted for the CITAC Foundation by Trade Partnership
 Worldwide, LLC, and authored by Dr. Joseph Francois and Laura Baughman, uses a
 standard and well-accepted regression analysis to quantify the employment
 losses on American steel consuming industries based on the impact of higher
 steel costs.
     The authors write that while sufficient data is not yet available to
 measure the precise role steel tariffs played in causing price increases, "it
 is clear that the steel tariffs played a leading role in pushing prices up,"
 and add, "in the absence of the tariffs, the damage to steel consuming
 employment would have been significantly less than it was in 2002."
     The study looks at the Section 201 steel tariffs on a range of steel
 products, such as hot-rolled sheet, cold-finished bar, certain welded tubular
 products and stainless steel wire.  The study also discusses the definition of
 steel consumers, from sectors including fabricated metal products and
 household appliances, to chemicals and petroleum refining.  According to the
 Bureau of Economic Analysis, 66 of 84 sectors of the US economy use steel.
 The authors conservatively focused on just 29 of them, those that rely on
 steel the most.  Finally, the study looked at the impact that reduced steel
 capacity, countervailing and antidumping duties, market uncertainty, among
 other events, has had on steel costs.
     Francois and Baughman explain that steel consuming manufacturers -- 98
 percent of which are small businesses employing less than 500 workers -- need
 to purchase steel and steel containing products at internationally competitive
 prices or risk losing business.  "They are simply too small to be able to
 demand that their customers pay more for the products they sell because their
 input costs, for example, have gone up."
     These increased costs, the authors explain, are attributable to the
 tariffs, along with other market factors such as supply disruptions.  They
 note that early in 2002, steel supplies tightened as significant tons of steel
 left the market when LTV shut down.  Total U.S. steel shipments dropped from
 8.6 million tons in October 2001, to 6.9 million only two months later in
 December.  "During the first quarter of [2002]," they write, "steel producers
 began to push for higher prices and they had the market power of steel
 shortages to force through some price increases."
     Antidumping and countervailing investigations, also started late in 2001,
 which raised steel costs.  "The steel supply shortage problem deepened because
 of uncertainty associated with the tariffs," the authors state.  They write
 that Domestic steel supplies were so tight that in May 2002, U.S. producers
 operated at over 90 percent of their capacity, when 80-85 percent is more
 typical.
     Francois and Baughman conclude, "The analysis shows that American steel
 consumers have borne heavy costs from higher steel prices caused by shortages,
 tariffs and trade remedy duties, among other factors.  Some customers of steel
 consumers have moved sourcing offshore as U.S. producers of steel-containing
 products became less reliable and more expensive.  Other customers refused to
 accept higher steel costs, which put many in a precarious (or worse) financial
 situation."
     The executive summary and full study of "The Unintended Consequences of
 U.S. Steel Import Tariffs: A Quantification of the Impact During 2002,"
 including state-by-state job losses, will be posted to
 HTTP://WWW.CITAC.INFO/STEELTASKFORCE .
 
     CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting
 a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to
 global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of
 American firms.  The CITAC Steel Task Force is comprised of steel consumers
 working to achieve the termination of the 201 steel tariffs by mid-point
 review and reform U.S. trade laws and policies to benefit U.S. steel
 consumers.
     For addition information, please visit
 HTTP://WWW.CITAC.INFO/STEELTASKFORCE
 
 

SOURCE CITAC Steel Task Force
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the Consuming Industries
 Trade Action Coalition Steel Task Force (CITAC STF) announced findings today
 from a study that reveals that higher steel prices -- caused in large part by
 the Section 201 steel tariffs imposed in March 2002 -- resulted in the loss of
 nearly 200,000 American jobs.
     The study, "The Unintended Consequences of U.S. Steel Import Tariffs: A
 Quantification of the Impact during 2002," shows that more American workers
 lost their jobs in 2002 to higher steel costs than the total number employed
 by the U.S. steel industry.  It reveals that the lost jobs represent
 approximately $4 billion in lost wages over ten months (February - November)
 last year.
     "This study proves what steel consumers across the country have been
 reporting for nearly a year -- that the steel tariffs are devastating to many
 steel consuming businesses, especially small businesses," stated William
 Gaskin, President of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and member
 of CITAC STF.
     Gaskin continued, "Every state lost employment as a result of the higher
 steel costs.  While steelmaking jobs in some states may have been protected as
 a result of tariffs, steel consumers were not as fortunate.  More than 12
 million Americans work in steel consuming jobs, compared to approximately
 190,000 in the steel-producing sector.  We cannot continue to have a trade
 policy that protects a few at the expense of the majority.  We hope that the
 Bush Administration will now pay attention to those American families who have
 greatly suffered from the steel tariffs."
     California, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida
 experienced the highest job losses from increased steel costs.  Job losses in
 these states ranged from 8,370 in Florida, to more than double that in
 California, with 19,390 jobs lost.  Sixteen states lost at least 4,500 steel
 consuming jobs each in 2002 due to higher steel prices.
     Lewis Leibowitz, Counsel to the CITAC STF noted, "The Bush Administration
 has an opportunity to terminate or modify the tariffs during the mid-point
 review process, which is to begin in a few weeks.  The mid-point review is
 conducted by the International Trade Commission (ITC) and must be completed by
 September 20, 2003.  While the ITC is required to examine the efforts of steel
 producers to make a positive adjustment to import competition, the Commission
 is under no obligation to consider the effects of the tariffs on steel
 consuming industries unless specifically directed by President Bush."
     "We join Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and the bipartisan group of 51 co-
 sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution 23 which calls on President Bush to
 direct the ITC to look at the impact of the Section 201 tariffs on steel
 consumers in the U.S.," continued Gaskin. "It is the common sense approach to
 analyze the tariffs' impact on both producers and consumers.  The President
 should insist on having all the facts on the table before making any
 decisions.  These job losses do not have to continue to escalate."
     Jim Zawacki, President of GR Spring & Stamping, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-
 based company that manufactures metal stampings, stated, "I am very nervous at
 what will happen if the tariffs aren't repealed.  Our company's mission is to
 be the 'best at what we do,' but how can we when the tariffs have made us
 unable to compete effectively?  We can't pass higher prices on to our
 customers.  Since March 2002, we have experienced delays and shortages, we've
 lost major customers to foreign competitors, and I've had to let employees go
 ... this can't go on."
     Zawacki continued, "Last year, we wrote to the Bush Administration to
 voice opposition to the restrictions on steel imports.  Now, almost a full
 year after the tariffs were imposed, all I want to know is what makes steel
 producers' jobs more important than the jobs of 200,000 steel consumers?"
     The study, conducted for the CITAC Foundation by Trade Partnership
 Worldwide, LLC, and authored by Dr. Joseph Francois and Laura Baughman, uses a
 standard and well-accepted regression analysis to quantify the employment
 losses on American steel consuming industries based on the impact of higher
 steel costs.
     The authors write that while sufficient data is not yet available to
 measure the precise role steel tariffs played in causing price increases, "it
 is clear that the steel tariffs played a leading role in pushing prices up,"
 and add, "in the absence of the tariffs, the damage to steel consuming
 employment would have been significantly less than it was in 2002."
     The study looks at the Section 201 steel tariffs on a range of steel
 products, such as hot-rolled sheet, cold-finished bar, certain welded tubular
 products and stainless steel wire.  The study also discusses the definition of
 steel consumers, from sectors including fabricated metal products and
 household appliances, to chemicals and petroleum refining.  According to the
 Bureau of Economic Analysis, 66 of 84 sectors of the US economy use steel.
 The authors conservatively focused on just 29 of them, those that rely on
 steel the most.  Finally, the study looked at the impact that reduced steel
 capacity, countervailing and antidumping duties, market uncertainty, among
 other events, has had on steel costs.
     Francois and Baughman explain that steel consuming manufacturers -- 98
 percent of which are small businesses employing less than 500 workers -- need
 to purchase steel and steel containing products at internationally competitive
 prices or risk losing business.  "They are simply too small to be able to
 demand that their customers pay more for the products they sell because their
 input costs, for example, have gone up."
     These increased costs, the authors explain, are attributable to the
 tariffs, along with other market factors such as supply disruptions.  They
 note that early in 2002, steel supplies tightened as significant tons of steel
 left the market when LTV shut down.  Total U.S. steel shipments dropped from
 8.6 million tons in October 2001, to 6.9 million only two months later in
 December.  "During the first quarter of [2002]," they write, "steel producers
 began to push for higher prices and they had the market power of steel
 shortages to force through some price increases."
     Antidumping and countervailing investigations, also started late in 2001,
 which raised steel costs.  "The steel supply shortage problem deepened because
 of uncertainty associated with the tariffs," the authors state.  They write
 that Domestic steel supplies were so tight that in May 2002, U.S. producers
 operated at over 90 percent of their capacity, when 80-85 percent is more
 typical.
     Francois and Baughman conclude, "The analysis shows that American steel
 consumers have borne heavy costs from higher steel prices caused by shortages,
 tariffs and trade remedy duties, among other factors.  Some customers of steel
 consumers have moved sourcing offshore as U.S. producers of steel-containing
 products became less reliable and more expensive.  Other customers refused to
 accept higher steel costs, which put many in a precarious (or worse) financial
 situation."
     The executive summary and full study of "The Unintended Consequences of
 U.S. Steel Import Tariffs: A Quantification of the Impact During 2002,"
 including state-by-state job losses, will be posted to
 HTTP://WWW.CITAC.INFO/STEELTASKFORCE .
 
     CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting
 a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to
 global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of
 American firms.  The CITAC Steel Task Force is comprised of steel consumers
 working to achieve the termination of the 201 steel tariffs by mid-point
 review and reform U.S. trade laws and policies to benefit U.S. steel
 consumers.
     For addition information, please visit
 HTTP://WWW.CITAC.INFO/STEELTASKFORCE
 
 SOURCE  CITAC Steel Task Force