The chairman of the U.S. Congressional Steel Caucus said yesterday he will call for an investigation of the "worsening situation" in U.S. Canada steel trade when the caucus reconvenes later this month.

Rep. Joseph Gaydos (D-Pa.) says Canada's unwillingness to lower a tariff on imported steel pipes effectively "sidesteps" an agreement that gave U.S. steel firms a fair chance in bidding for a $10 billion Canadian natural gas pipeline.

Canadian abuse of the trigger price mechanism has prompted Gaydos, who represents a Pittsburgh-area district heavily dependent on steelmaking, to say he wants to look into Canada's apparent unwillingness to allow U.S. steel producers into the Canadian market.

Gaydos pointed to Canada's apparent reluctance to let U.S. pipe manufacturers bid for $10 billion worth of contracts for construction of a new natural gas pipeline in Canada. American firms won the right to bid on the project under a new agreement worked out by the U.S. State Department, but Gaydos said U.S. steelmakers still face the imposing tariff on imported large diameter pipe.

The congressman noted Canada had refused to waive its 15 percent tariff, or reduce the tariff to match the U.S. tariff of 2 percent.