posted on Nov, 11 2003 @ 08:44 AM
U.S. Tariffs on Steel Are Illegal, World Trade Organization Says
By ELIZABETH BECKER
Published: November 11, 2003
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 — The World Trade Organization ruled on Monday that steel tariffs imposed by President Bush last year were illegal, clearing the
way for the European Union to impose more than $2 billion of sanctions on imports from the United States unless Washington quickly drops the
The final decision by a W.T.O. panel, which was widely anticipated and has been discussed for weeks at the White House, puts Mr. Bush in a difficult
spot. As an election looms, he must choose between continuing to help the steel industry — which could bolster his electoral prospects in crucial
industrial states — or respecting international trade laws and increasing his chances of winning new regional and global trade agreements.
We had some pointed discussions in this forum a while back when the Special-interest-Vote-as-Economic-Policy-Driver was showing it's ugly head with
Bush style politics.
That retort of "other presidents did it" was hollow then, and I hope not revisited now, but let's recap:
- During a cycle of recession, the Bush folks applied unsound tarriffs to bolster the steel industry, an industry that has not scaled itself to be
competitive on a Global Market, but has relied on SOCIALIST
style stipend by the central government.
- At the time, it was strictly for votes that this was done, despite all the loud warnings by every economist, hell, anybody whoever read "The Wealth
of Nation" by Adam Smith, that it would start a punative trade war...one that our economy could ill afford.
- Now that the boomerang has come back, the votes gained there will likely be lost in the states thought to be held, since the WTO tarriffs will hit
them where they live.
The net-net? Benefit the vote segment & benefactors tied to steel by keeping the tariffs or benefit the country by forging new trade & diverse trade
segments by being a world partner.
We can't sustain by selling Yankee made to Yankee consumers; this world is our marketplace & we need to be a member.