The US House and Senate are expected to assign conferees soon to negotiate a compromise on a trade bill that, under the Senate version, would suspend import duties on steam generators for nuclear facilities until the end of 2006.

The House version of the bill does not contain any provision on the treatment of duties for steam generators. The measure passed last November. The Senate bill, approved 23 May, 2002, contains broader trade requirements than just the trade provisions in the House bill, and became known as the Trade Act of 2002.

The nuclear industry has been trying to get Congress to provide relief from tariffs on imported steam generators, which are claimed to add $0.5-1.25 million per component to the price. Because there is no capability in the USA to manufacture these components, it has been argued that a tariff is unnecessary.
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