American steelmakers may have won a major victory against foreign producers, but will the cost be a nasty trade brawl? On June 22, the Commerce Dept. ruled that steel imports from 19 countries are being sold in the U.S. at unfair prices and that 12 countries unfairly subsidize their imports. The result: stiff new tariffs averaging more than 33%. They are set to go into effect in early August. A negotiated settlement is still possible between now and then, but the European Community and Japan reacted angrily to the move. The U.S. action could complicate efforts to reach trade breakthroughs at the Group of Seven summit in Tokyo beginning July 7.
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