WASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. trade regulators on Thursday revoked most of the 13-year-old tariffs and duties against imports of a high-grade steel used in cars, giving a coalition of U.S. and Japanese automakers a holiday surprise.
The International Trade Commission voted to revoke all tariffs and subsidy-countering duties against carbon steel plate from 16 countries. In a special victory for automakers, they also voted to end tariffs on corrosion-resistant steel sheet imported from Canada, France, Australia and Japan.
Under the decision, only steel from Germany and Korea will continue to face the duties first imposed in 1993.
DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., had joined together on a trade case for the first time, arguing they had been forced to pay $3 billion in additional costs since 2004 because of artificially high steel prices.
U.S. steelmakers had argued they needed to keep the tariffs in place to prevent the kind of dumping of low-priced and subsidized imports that had nearly destroyed them in the 1990s.
Lewis Leibowitz, a lawyer for the automaker group, said ending the penalties against Canadian steel was particularly important because the North American market has become so unified in recent years and so much of the steel used in cars comes from Canada.