Wednesday :: Mar 26, 2003

WTO Slams Bush Over Steel Tariffs


by Steve

I guess it is poetic justice when a conservative, pro-business administration that jettisoned years of free trade and anti-protectionist policies by a Democratic predecessor gets bitten in the ass for violating WTO rules. The fact that usual bastions of Republican free-trade dogma blasted the Bush Administration for imposing the politically inspired tariffs in the first place only adds to the embarrassment for the Bushies, who normally wouldn’t care since WTO member countries don’t vote in steel states next year.

But the policy, cooked up by Karl Rove, has cost 200,000 jobs, and we have lost more international standing due to another bonehead move.

The full report was not immediately available, but diplomats said it amounted to "a pretty comprehensive rejection of the American case".

The White House had justified its decision - made just months before billions of dollars in new farm subsidies triggered another burst of international outrage - by accusing foreign producers of "dumping" steel on the US market at below its true cost.

Even within the US, opponents of the policy have charged that, far from defending US jobs against unfair competition, the policy has contributed to the massive lay-offs seen in the US over the past year.
By making steel more expensive, one US industry group claimed up to 200,000 jobs may have been lost in industries using steel in their products.

Let’s see how many GOP “free traders” will now bash the WTO when these same officeholders were touting it during Clinton’s tenure.

Steve :: 9:25 PM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!