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Six Largest Automotive Companies Call on U.S. International

Trade Commission to End Steel Duties Hurting U.S. Manufacturing 
International Trade Commission to Hold Hearing on Ending Duties on 'Corrosion 
Resistant Steel' 
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In an unprecedented move underscoring
their serious concern over access to competitively-priced steel, the six
largest automobile companies with manufacturing facilities in the United
States today jointly called on the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)
to terminate anti-dumping and countervailing duties on "corrosion resistant
steel," a steel product used extensively in the manufacturing of automobiles.
The companies, which include DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda,
Nissan and Toyota, also announced that they will take an active role in the
ITC's "sunset review" process that determines whether the duties will remain
in place. 
"This marks the first time that these six companies have united on a trade
issue," said Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist, General Motors Corp. "We have
joined together because further protection for the steel industry is simply
unjustified. Continuing these outdated duties hurts American manufacturing
competitiveness and U.S. jobs." 
"A great deal has changed in the steel industry since the duties were put
in place 13 years ago," added Josephine Cooper, Toyota group vice president.
"There is no longer an economic basis for keeping these duties.  The steel
industry benefits from unnecessary protection while the duties hurt a much
wider sector of the U.S. economy." 
The U.S. auto and auto parts industry alone is responsible for employment
of 2.4 million Americans.  The six automotive companies together purchase $200
billion annually in materials, parts and services for their U.S. operations.
Steel is a critical component of every vehicle and a significant portion of
production costs.  All six companies buy the overwhelming amount of the steel
used in their U.S. operations from U.S. steel mills, but must maintain the
ability to obtain key materials for their vehicle assembly plants dependably
and at globally competitive prices. 
The ITC is required to conduct a "sunset review" on antidumping and
countervailing duties every five years.  The duties will be lifted unless the
ITC finds that the steel industry is likely to face material injury as a
result.  The duties on corrosion resistant steel have been in place since 1993
on imports from six countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and
Korea. 
"With record profits, high prices and industry consolidation, the domestic
steel industry is enjoying unprecedented prosperity that its own executives
have publicly stated is sustainable for the long term," concluded Mark S.
McConnell, counsel to the six auto manufacturers and a partner at Hogan &
Hartson LLP.  "Strong global demand for steel will render an influx of imports
very unlikely in the event that the ITC revokes the orders. That is why these
orders should be terminated as the law intended." 

SOURCE  The PBN Company on behalf of DaimlerChrysler Corporation,
Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, Honda of America
Manufacturing, Inc., Nissan North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor North
America, Inc. 
CONTACT:
Paul Nathanson, paul.nathanson@pbnco.com or Janel Causey, 
janel.causey@pbnco.com, both of The PBN Company, +1-202-466-6210
-0- Oct/05/2006 15:01 GMT
 
 
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