Riding the Tariff-Go-Round
In the interest of making the debate over steel tariffs even more confusing and annoying to our trading partners, the Bush administration has decided to balance out the threatened 30% tariff on imported steel with 224 separate exemptions. The rationale for the unnecessary and damaging tariffs, you might remember, is that below-cost foreign imports were putting defenseless U.S. steel producers out of business. Now the Administration is acknowledging that domestic producers are incapable in keeping up with demand for such basic goods as steel bars and stainless steel wire. It seems not to have occurred to them that they could repeal the tariffs all at once rather than through hundreds of exceptions to various overseas allies and foreign corporations.