President Carter is expected to approve tariff relief for the $270 million nuts and bolts industry, which has claimed injury because of rising imports.
The industry, sometimes called the industrial fasteners industry, uses steels wire to make nuts, bolts, and screws for autos, machine tools, and other equipment.
Last Dec. 7, the International Trade Commission recommended to President Carter by a 3-to-1 vote that a 5-year period of higher tariffs be permitted to allow the domestic industry enough time to modernize and adjust to competition.
The matter has been under review by Robert S. Strauss, the president's special trade representative, who is expected to recommend to Carter that the ITC proposal be substantially approved.
Officials appear to have been persuaded by the industry's argument that without protection from higher tariffs, 2,500 to 13,000 American jobs in the industry would be wiped out.
A complication factor bearing on Carter's decision is that the recent U.S. Treasury decision to set minimum import prices for steel, so as to prevent "dumping" of foreign steel products, is putting aditonal pressure on the fasteners industry. "Dumping" results when foreign producers sell products in the United States at below cost or at less than the prices they quote in their own markets.
The industry has argued that foreign producers of steel wire who find that the new minimum import schedule for steel has reduced their market here will convert to making nuts and bolts, which are not affected by the minimum steel import price regulations.
Another argument advanced by the domestic industry is that it is one of those needing protection so it can maintain a flow of essential supplies in time of war.
A letter to Strauss dated Jan. 17 from Rep. Charles A. Yanik (D-Ohio), chairman of a House Ways and means subcommittee on trade, cites a government report that in effect labels fasteners and essential industry.
According to Vanik, the report by the General Services Administration "indicates that our current reliance on [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]