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Steel Quotas: A Rigged Lottery

Listed author(s):
  • Gary Clyde Hufbauer


    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Erika Wada


    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

One of the most bizarre bills making its way through Congress is the Visclosky steel quota bill (H.R. 975). H.R. 975 passed the House on 17 March, with 289 yeas and 141 nays. It is scheduled for a Senate vote on 22 June. If enacted, H.R. 975 would limit steel imports in a heavy-handed way that scarcely benefits workers, but enriches a few lucky firms, while violating international trade rules and draining the pockets of American households. If truth-in-labeling applied to legislation, H.R. 975 would be named the Steel Lottery Act of 1999. The annual cost to American households for each steel job saved would exceed $800,000. But steel workers would receive less than 20 percent of this huge sum; lucky firms would collect more than 80 percent of the jackpot.

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Paper provided by Peterson Institute for International Economics in its series Policy Briefs with number PB99-05.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
Handle: RePEc:iie:pbrief:pb99-05
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