Another side effect of President Bush’s disastrous raising of US tariffs on imported steel is a $2.2 billion fine from the World Trade Organization. The three-nation council’s final decision is that the 30% tariff is a violation of international trade rules.
The steel tariff decision was one of the worst of the Bush Administration, and it’s not surprising that the WTO voted the way it did. Moreover, the decision has already cost the country more jobs than it ever saved, and the EU will likely begin implementing retaliatory tariffs that will target key battleground states in the 2004 race.
Protectionism doesn’t work, it has never worked, and it’s foolish to think that it would work in the future. The Bush Administration has been a strong advocate of free trade worldwide – they should have followed their own best advice.