Thursday, December 14, 2006

No More Steel Protection

"The tariffs on corrosion-resistant steel -- the type of steel used most in cars and trucks -- must end. This special protection, in place since 1993, is no longer needed. It increases costs and puts us at a competitive disadvantage against other manufacturers outside the U.S.

These duties on corrosion-resistant steel penalize auto makers and other steel users by distorting competition in the U.S. market. Steel is not only more expensive than it would be without these duties; there is also less product available. Adding it all up, higher steel prices fueled by these duties have cost our companies over $3 billion in the last three years. That's a sum of money that we would prefer to invest in new products, facilities and jobs in America. Also, in today's cost-competitive market these price increases hike the price consumers pay for a vehicle.

However, for the health of all U.S. manufacturers, we oppose unnecessary protection for steel or any other industry that is thriving, powerful, profitable and globally competitive."

Excerpt from a
joint letter by the presidents and VPs of GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota and Chrysler in today's WSJ.

Just wondering, isn't pretty much all protection unnecesssary?

Update: The U.S. International Trade Commission allowed tariffs to lapse on certain high-end steel imported from Australia, Canada, France and Japan today, but voted to keep them in place for the same type of steel imported from Germany and Korea, representing a partial victory for the the U.S. auto industry, read the
WSJ article here.

Let me add that it is also a partial victory for U.S. consumers, who have been paying higher prices because of the steel tariffs.

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