Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on Imports of Antifriction Bearings


November 28, 1988


The 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.


On 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.


On 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 security purposes.


In view of the above, it is not necessary to take action to adjust imports of the products under investigation.