U.S steelmakers slammed for benefiting unfairly from subsidies

U.S steelmakers slammed for benefiting unfairly from subsidies


New York: A group representing international steel exporters, importers and consumers has accused U.S steelmakers of benefiting unfairly from subsidies amid a growing confrontation between American companies and their rivals.

The U.S steel industry has won about $17 billion in various subsidies over the past seven years and continues to win favourable trade decisions restricting imports even though demand outpaces domestic supply, a report by the American Institute for International Steel said.

In recent decisions, the U.S International Trade Commission has agreed to renew duties on steel from India, China, Japan and Brazil, involving some of their most profitable products.

Last month, the trade commission denied a request by six countries to end duties on imported hot-rolled steel, a product used in everything from cars to appliances, the paper said.

The study, the Wall Street Journal said, marks a ratcheting up in the war of words between U.S steelmakers and their rivals.

The decisions come as several duties and tariffs on imported steel come up for review, five years after they were imposed in the wake of a wave of bankruptcy filings among U.S steelmakers from 2000 through 2003, the Journal said.

Those reviews, it noted, so far are generally favouring U.S producers. Since 2004, the commission has eliminated duties on steel imported from 20 smaller producers such as Sweden, Romania and Kazakhstan. But it has kept the duties in place for 17 larger steel-producing countries.