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LAW WEAK, GENEVA OFFICIAL SAYS

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Extension of Voluntary Restraint Agreements limiting steel imports to the United States is good news for Geneva Steel, but the legislation approved by President Bush this week still has holes in it, the company's president says.

"In particular, it permits foreign steel imports of up to 26 percent of the U.S. market," said Joe Cannon, president and CEO of Geneva Steel. "That is the same level attained in 1984 when the U.S. steel industry was decimated by imports."The restraining agreements instituted in 1984 by the Reagan administration were scheduled to expire at the end of September. Steel company representatives had asked for a five-year extension on the agreements; the companies said extending the restraint agreements would allow them to modernize their plants and become more competitive in the world steel market. American steel firms say foreign competitors use unfair subsidies and sell steel at less than fair market value.

The bill signed by Bush, however, extends the agreements for only 21/2 years.

Cannon believes the newly enacted legislation will not be enough to prevent unfair practices.