Wheat Group Worries Over Steel Industry Demands

USW noted that the World Trade Organization national security exception from normal trade rules has traditionally been narrowly defined for “truly exceptional products deemed necessary to maintain essential security interests.” The group noted that the cautious approach, respected by most countries, could be undermined if this type of restriction for a commonly traded product like steel was included.

The group stated that it believes “that there is no greater national security interest for a country than being able to feed its people, which is best achieved through open markets. If the United States restricts steel imports under a national security claim, some countries may use the same pretense to restrict imports of U.S. wheat and other agricultural products.”

Mike Miller, USW chairman, explained that the domestic steel industry already has more protection in place than any other industry so “there is no reason to blow up trade rules to restrict imported steel.” Miller is a Ritzville, Wash., farmer and he noted that as a farmer “I know that I always have to work hard to stay competitive; if steel companies can’t do that with dozens of trade remedies already in place, maybe they should look for solutions that address the real problems instead of just restricting trade.”

You can read USW’s reaction to the Commerce statement here.

Source: Southwest Farm Press

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