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Thursday, December 11, 2003

Oh, Why Oh Why is Nothing Ever What it Seems to Be?

Oh, I know, I know. I don't go into type M arguments, and I won't. But this is very rich indeed.

A week after dropping one set of tariffs on steel, the Bush administration is considering giving new protection to U.S. steelmakers by changing how other duties are calculated.

The proposal, being reviewed by the Commerce Department, would raise the duties on $1.7 billion in steel imports determined to have been ``dumped'' in the U.S. at prices lower than those in the producer's home market. Revenue from the increased penalties would go to companies such as International Steel Group, U.S. Steel Corp. and Nucor Corp., which asked the department for the changes.

The idea is triggering new tensions between the U.S. and European steelmakers. ``It's a back-door way to keep the tariffs in place,'' said Richard Cunningham, a Washington lawyer who represents steel importers such as Corus Group Ltd., Europe's third-largest steelmaker.
Source: Bloomberg

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