Capital market-relevant press releases, 2002-03-06, 01:00 AM
ThyssenKrupp Steel disappointed by US President`s decision on import tariffs
Yesterday the US President announced his decision on the ongoing Section 201 case regarding steel imports by stating that a protective tariff - initially 30% in the first year - is to be imposed on carbon steel flat-rolled products. President Bush has therefore followed the International Trade Commission`s recommendation on December 7, 2001 to impose significant tariffs of between 20% and 40% on 17 steel products to remedy the steel crisis in the USA.
While hardly any stainless steel flat products are affected, the carbon steel flat products supplied by ThyssenKrupp Stahl will be hit by these tariffs.
In view of the partnership it has cultivated over the decades with major US steel users, ThyssenKrupp Steel is disappointed that President Bush has rejected the arguments put forward by US steel users and yielded to the demands of the American steel industry. The decision requires a unilateral contribution by the international steel industry toward remedying the failings of US steel companies, which are of their own making.
In view of the enormous economic impact this will have on the 350,000 metric tons of carbon steel flat products we currently supply to the USA - mainly hot dip galvanized sheet for the automotive industry - ThyssenKrupp Steel will immediately enter into discussions with its customers to determine whether and under what economic conditions supplies can be maintained. The carbon steel flat products affected by the tariffs represent an annual sales volume of some 200 million euros, around 1 to 2% of ThyssenKrupp Steel`s total sales, which reached 12.6 billion euros in fiscal 2000/2001.
President Bush`s decision represents a serious economic impediment to European steel producers. We anticipate that supplies will increasingly be diverted to the liberal European markets. These additional volumes could jeopardize the stabilization process which is just starting to take effect in the economy and the steel markets. ThyssenKrupp Steel assumes that the European Commission - as announced - will now challenge the US measures before the WTO`s dispute settlement body and is convinced that the tariffs imposed will not receive WTO recognition. At the same time we expect the European Commission to take suitable measures to protect the European market. European steel producers under the lead of Eurofer have already prepared the filing of their own safeguard clause case.
Thyssenkrupp Stahl AG
Phone: +49 203 / 52 - 2 62 67
Fax: +49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07