Steel: Legislative and Oversight Issues [Updated April 2, 2003]   [open pdf - 141KB]

"The U.S. steel industry has faced increasing difficulties since the late 1990s. More than 30 U.S. steel producers have gone into bankruptcy and many workers have lost their jobs. Many retirees have lost company-funded health care benefits, while their pensions are being taken over by the federally chartered Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The condition of the industry is discussed in detail in CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL31748, The American Steel Industry: A Changing Profile. U.S. policymakers responded with a variety of measures. The House of Representatives in 1999 approved a bill that would have required the President to roll back imports. The Clinton Administration reacted with expedited enforcement of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) laws, as well as Section 201 import safeguard measures on wire rod and line pipe products, which expired as of March 1, 2003. The 106th Congress approved and President Clinton signed a law to establish a steel loan guarantee program (P .L. 106-51), and to distribute to petitioners duties collected from AD/CVD cases, (known as the Byrd Amendment to the Agriculture appropriations bill, P.L. 106-387). These measures did not prevent a new downturn in the domestic steel industry. Moreover, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has found that the Byrd Amendment violates its rules. The Bush Administration in its FY2004 budget request proposed elimination of both programs, butbothcontinuetooperate. On March 26, 2003, the Emergency Steel Loan Board approved a $250 million loan guarantee for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31792
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