This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, August 27, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: A big blow to U.S. steel makers today. Their request for steep new tariffs on imports of a certain type of steel has been denied. The reason you should care? Well, that steel is used to make the cars you drive and the appliances you use.
David Phelps says today's ruling is a win for you and steel importers alike. He is the president of the American Institute for International Steel.
But Leo Gerard is outraged. He's the president of the United Steelworkers of America. Leo, to you first. You don't like this.
LEO GERARD, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA: No, I think this is a terrible decision. In fact, it flies in the face of President Bush's agenda. This is a decision where the ITC found a dumping margin of 154 percent, and subsidy of 13 percent. What that means on its face is that steel is being dumped into this market with a duty of 154 percent lower than the selling price in the home market, and we proved in those hearings that those companies from those five countries were being subsidized by their government to the tune of 13 percent. All we are asking for is that U.S. trade law be enforced, and just come to the issue that you said coming in, Neil, that this doesn't result in lower prices, because in fact -- for consumers, because in fact, we have not yet returned the pre-crisis level of prices, and we haven't seen price drops in any products.
CAVUTO: So David, you are listening to what Leo is saying there, that you have an unfair advantage. Do you?
DAVID PHELPS, AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL STEEL: Well, first of all, the trade laws were enforced today. The Commerce Department found dumping margins, which is no particular surprise, but what the International Trade Commission had to determine is whether or not those dumping margins and those imports caused injury to the U.S. industry, and the truth of the matter is, the domestic steel industry -- and this product was cold-rolled sheet, cold-rolled sheet that is used in cars and other things like you mention, prices are up 75 percent, imports are down 75 percent -- wait a minute, wait a minute...
GERARD: David, David, David...
CAVUTO: Guys, guys. You know what, you guys know this like the back of your hands, and I bet most Americans -- what most Americans only know this -- guys stop -- I beg you -- stop, I beg you.
Here is what most Americans are going to get from this. That all of a sudden, these tariffs that were being considered against foreign steel coming into this country, they whittling away here. Does that mean, now, that U.S. steel manufacturers are going to be behind the eight ball, and do they then feel disappointed in the president, do they?
GERARD: Yes, it does. And let me just say, I didn't mean to interrupt David, but the fact of the matter is -- but David, you know it. Let's be straight up with each other. Steel imports are in fact up since the tariff remedy. They have returned to the pre-crisis record levels. Prices haven't fallen, the steel industry has not recovered. We still have close to 200,000 human beings whose health care is at risk. We have over 50,000 people who have lost their jobs. We have now gone from 31 bankruptcies at the time of the tariff, to 35.
PHELPS: OK. Neil.
CAVUTO: David, what are you going to do, then? What are you going to do?
PHELPS: OK. Neil, first of all, first of all, steel imports are up this year because the steel companies have increased their imports...
GERARD: David, you just said they were down. You had just said they were down.
PHELPS: Hang on. Imports of cold-rolled sheet are down by 75 percent. Total imports are up only because the domestic steel industry itself has increased its imports by 50 percent.
GERARD: And that's -- David, let's put all of the facts -- let's not just be subjected to certain facts.
PHELPS: Neil, I would like to answer your questions...
GERARD: Thirty-five companies in bankruptcy.
CAVUTO: David, real quickly, is this going to be just what the international steelmakers wanted, though?
PHELPS: What it means right now is we have shortages of steel in the U.S. market and this will open up the possibility that steel consumers can buy steel. There are 13 million steel-consuming workers, there are 170,000 steel workers.
CAVUTO: OK. David, thank you. Leo, thank you.
CAVUTO: Thanks guys. Keep talking, that's fine.
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