Other than general antipathy toward the environment and the worship of corporate interests, the pathetic and protectionist steel tariffs are Bush’s worst move as president: a net economic and political loss, and an affront to Bush’s own free trade principles. Thank goodness they are being repealed:
- Facing the threat of a trade war, President Bush has decided to lift steep tariffs he imposed on foreign steel 20 months ago, Republican and industry officials said Thursday.
An administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Bush had made a decision and it would be announced later in the day.
While this official refused to disclose details, steel industry officials, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the administration would announce that Bush was lifting the tariffs on foreign steel imposed in March 2002 and originally scheduled to be in effect for three years.
Bush’s decision was also confirmed by Republican officials.
The administration was acting to avert a threatened trade war with Europe and other big trading partners. Those nations had vowed to retaliate with punitive tariffs on American products unless the steel tariffs were removed. [AP]
Monday on the Diane Rehm show, I heard Howard Dean defend the steel tariffs as an appropriate defense of our domestic industry. He just lost whatever remote chance he had of getting my vote assuming he is the Democratic nominee. Protectionism is counterproductive, an economic net loss, contary to our goals for the world, and stupid. Democrats talk about internationalism, decry unilateralism, you don’t get more unilateral than tariffs, doctor – sounds like sucking up to special interests to me.