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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 11, 2000


President Clinton today announced import relief for the U.S. line pipe industry, in response to increased line pipe imports that have resulted in substantial industry operating losses and other adverse effects. The relief is intended to help the steel line pipe industry adjust to import competition and return to profitability.

The action that the President has announced represents a clear statement of the Administration's commitment both to the vigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws and to the application of international trade rules. The action is also consistent with the Administration's overall approach to the steel import crisis.

The President's action, taken under the "safeguard" provisions of the 1974 trade act, responds to a report by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) which found that increased imports were a substantial cause of serious injury or threat of serious injury to the U.S. industry.

The import relief will take the form of an additional 19 percent ad valorem tariff, which will go into effect two weeks from the issuance of a Proclamation, and will remain in place for three years. All countries will be able to exempt the first 9,000 net tons of line pipe imported into the United States from this duty. The tariff will drop to 15 percent ad valorem in the second year and to 11 percent ad valorem in the third year.

The import relief measure is crafted to ensure that U.S. industries that buy and use line pipe will maintain their global competitiveness, while at the same time assisting line pipe producers, and the 1,000 workers they employ, in their efforts to adjust to import competition

The ITC will monitor developments in the industry during the period the relief is in effect, including industry efforts to increase its competitiveness. The Administration will ask the ITC to report at the mid-way point on how the relief has affected line pipe producers and downstream users.