Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on Imports of Antifriction
November 28, 1988
President announced today his determination with respect to the Department of Commerce's
investigation of the impact of imports of antifriction bearings on the national
security. After reviewing the Department's initial report and the supplemental
Commerce/Defense assessment of the impact of recent administration initiatives
on the industry, the President approved the recommended finding of the
Secretary of Commerce that antifriction bearings are not being imported into
the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten
to impair the national security.
July 15, 1988, the Secretary of
Commerce forwarded to the President his investigation of the effect of
antifriction bearing imports on the national security. This study was conducted
under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. It found that
bearings are essential components in virtually all machinery and equipment and
that the domestic bearing industry would be able to meet most, but not all,
national security requirements in the event of a major conventional war.
August 5, 1988, the President accepted
the Secretary of Commerce's recommendation and deferred a final decision
pending a supplemental assessment by the Departments of Defense and Commerce of
the impact of a number of current administration initiatives on the bearing industry's
ability to meet national security needs. This assessment has been completed and
has found that conditions for the industry have improved since the July report.
It has further concluded that administration initiatives should be adequate to
bring the domestic industrial base into an acceptable posture for national
view of the above, it is not necessary to take action to adjust imports of the
products under investigation.