Thursday, December 04, 2003

FREE TRADE RESTORED. President Bush repealed the steel tariffs. CBS news carried the story, blaming it on re-election politics. They made no mention of the counter sanctions threatened by the European Union and Japan. They made no mention of the ruling by the World Trade Organization ruling the tariffs in violation of trade agreements. They also made no mention of the effects of such tariffs on the economy.

Dr. Joseph Francois claims that 200,000 Americans lost their jobs due to the tariffs, more than the total number of workers in the steel industry. This also represents $4 billion in lost wages.

The object of the tariffs was to allow the steel industry time to reorganize. Two years is enough. Besides, why should these industries not have to compete on level ground? The steel companies are old companies that have made huge amounts of money. Why should they not have to keep up with the market like everyone else? When they were doing well, did they give any of us a break? No they did not.

Free trade will benefit the country and the economy, and eventually the steel industry, as it will be forced to improve to compete. The consumer should not be punished because a bunch of rich guys sat on their tails and let their competitors get the best of them.
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