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U.S., Japan OK Five-Year Pact to Cut Steel Imports

United Press International

A five-year agreement to limit Japanese steel shipments to the United States was signed in Washington and Tokyo on Tuesday, the eighth of 11 “voluntary” pacts intended to restrain steel imports, officials announced.

The pact cuts the amount of steel that Japan will sell in the United States to 5.8% of the U.S. market, substantially less than the 6.9% that Japan accounted for last year.

All eight agreements have cut imports from countries other than European Economic Community producers by about 27%, U.S. trade negotiators said, so they will supply about 10% of demand instead of 14%.

The agreement was signed for the United States by acting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer after it was delivered by the Japanese Embassy. It was approved earlier in the day in Tokyo by the government of Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.

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The text of the agreement was not made public as has been the policy with the preceding seven agreements with other countries, the most recent with South Korea last week.

The current round of what are dubbed voluntary restraint agreements was initiated last September when President Reagan turned down the steel industry’s demand for “escape clause” protection, an emergency relief provision under current trade law.


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