Impose tariff to protect American steel industry
Right now, President Bush is deciding what penalty to impose as a result of the International Trade Commission's finding and recommendation regarding the significant harm foreign steel imports have caused our domestic steel industry.
Much debate and lobbying from steel producers and users has caused too much politicizing of the issue.
In my opinion, however, the issue is clear. The ITC found that imports had damaged the domestic industry over several years, and the majority recommended that significant tariffs be the penalty.
The steel industry backs a simple, strong remedy that will work, without any material adverse impact -- a 40 percent tariff for four years across all impacted product lines. This remedy is large enough to act as a deterrent (without imposing unworkable quotas), and to somewhat level the playing field, recognizing the depressing impact the flood of dumped imports has had on prices. Thirty steel companies, including Republic, LTV and Bethlehem, have filed for bankruptcy in the last few years.
It is a long enough period to permit the domestic industry to feel the impact of the relief in real terms. That is, any relief would be translated into capital investment and improved processes, which take years to plan and implement.
Finally, the remedy would apply to all impacted products, supporting the ITC's finding that the damage to the steel industry was very broad, while eliminating the protracted slicing and dicing from both within and outside the industry on what should or should not be covered.
It is time to send a clear message to the president. We at Republic Technologies International of Akron, like many other companies in the steel industry, have already communicated our position to him. We are asking our employees and community leaders to do the same in the form of letters, e-mails and phone calls.
America needs a strong steel industry to be the backbone of our entire manufacturing base.
JOSEPH F. LAPINSKY
CEO and President
Republic Technologies International, LLC
Bishop Wagner has done much for Youngstown
I am appalled and shocked to see that the editorial board of The Vindicator would permit such a scandalous editorial to be written about Bishop Norman L. Wagner as that of Feb. 18. Not only was the editorial riddled with inaccuracies, but to launch a personal attack on the integrity and character of Bishop Wagner, a man who has devoted his life to the betterment of Youngstown's inner city, is incredulous.
It is one thing to have and state your view on a particular subject (i.e. community schools), but it is unacceptable to malign with a monopolistic position those who disagree with your view.
How ironic that during this month that has been designated to reflect on the contributions of African-Americans in our society, that we see first hand a 21st century lynching. And like those who took a stand against racial injustices of the past, we cannot allow such bias to continue in our community.
I'm sure we can ascertain the real priorities of this newspaper when it removed "Youngstown" to just call itself "The Vindicator."
The Rev. A. GLENN BRADY
X The writer is a minister at Bishop Norman Wagner's Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church.