THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE January 7, 1999
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Mr. President:)
I am transmitting the attached Report to Congress on a Comprehensive Plan for Responding to the Increase in Steel Imports in response to the request from the Congress described in section 111 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999 (Public Law 105-277 of October 21, 1998).
As the global financial crisis has unfolded, it has touched the lives of many Americans. I am very concerned about the surge in low-priced steel imports into the United States and its impact on our companies, workers, and communities. Our steel industry and workers have taken difficult and commendable steps over the past 2 decades to make America's steel industry a world class competitor.
Our goal in this comprehensive action plan is clear: we seek to ensure that competitive American steel companies and steel workers have the opportunity to compete fairly and that they not be asked to bear an unfair share of the burden of a global financial crisis they did not create. The plan outlined in this report details our actions to vigorously and expeditiously enforce our own trade laws, engage major steel exporting and importing countries to enforce fair trade and fairly share the import burden, work with the IMF and our foreign partners to address the financial crisis that has contributed to the current surge of steel imports, and provide American steel communities, workers, and companies with the resources they need to adjust to the forces of globalization.
I will continue to make clear my deep personal concern about the steel situation, as I have done in recent statements. I will continue to engage leaders of Japan, Russia, the Republic of Korea, and the nations of Europe with the goal of ensuring that they follow fair trading practices, fairly share the burden of absorbing additional steel imports, and respect established international rules, including prohibitions on subsidization.
The solution to the financial crisis and the crisis facing our steel industry is not for us, or for any other nation, to go backward or turn inward. The solution is, instead, for America to continue to lead the world in stemming the current financial crisis and creating an open, rules-based trading system. At this critical juncture, it is essential that all nations remain committed to open markets.
Open and fair trade is absolutely essential for both global economic recovery and continued U.S. prosperity. It is essential that all nations respect international trade rules to ensure that the trading system commands the confidence of the American people. Maintaining strong trade laws and vigorous enforcement will continue to be a critical element of my trade policy, just as I will continue to lead efforts to open markets around the world.
My Administration will continue to monitor developments in the steel industry and to consult with representatives of steel-producing and -consuming industries and labor, Members of Congress, and our trading partners, and we will consider additional actions as circumstances warrant. We will continue to work closely with Members of Congress in ensuring an effective response to this serious matter.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON