THE WHITE HOUSE
the Press Secretary
U.S.-Russia Joint Steel Dialogue
The U.S. Commerce Department and Russia's Ministry of Economy
and Trade today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint steel
dialogue in the U.S.-Russia Business Development Committee (BDC) under the
aegis of the Binational Commission. The Dialogue will focus on a broad range of
structural issues affecting the Russian steel industry.
As part of the
President's Steel Action Program announced last year, the U.S. Department of
Commerce is conducting a comprehensive study of the 1998 U.S. steel crisis, its
causes and what steps can be taken to prevent future crises. Because Russia
accounts for a substantial share of global steel capacity and was one of the
major exporting countries contributing to the surge, Russia figures prominently
in this report. The duration of the Comprehensive Steel Agreement provides
stability in steel trade between the U.S. and Russia, as well as an opportunity
to address some of the structural issues that brought us to this agreement.
These factors are addressed in the report.
The BDC's successful Joint
Commercial Tax Dialogue demonstrated that such a mechanism offers the
flexibility needed for actively involving relevant government and private
sector representatives in a complex of issues cutting across a broad range of
issues pertinent to government and private sector interests.
Steel Dialogue will run on three tracks: a high-level government-to-government
component; joint government-industry discussions and activities in which both
industry (including unions) and governments develop programs; and direct
industry-to-industry and union-to-union contacts devised and managed by the
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