WASHINGTON — The U.S. Customs Service said Friday that it has halted imports of steel pipes and tubes from the European Economic Community because the 10-nation group failed to formally approve an agreement limiting European shipments.
European approval of the Nov. 1 accord has been held up because Britain wants assurances that it can ship at least 300,000 tons of unfinished steel next year to a plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., according to a European source, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. The source said the British have an interest in the plant.
Stan Gustafson of the U.S. National Steel Fraud Program calculated that, of $1.5 billion worth of basic steel mill products shipped to the United States from the Common Market this year, only $200 million was in the form of sheets and tubes.
Hopes to Speed Up Pact
Gustafson added that there was no suggestion of any fraudulent practices in the European shipments, only a question of keeping within previously agreed quotas for shipments. His office keeps close watch on the shipments in case of violations.