Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Friday, December 05, 2003

AWol caves on steel tariffs
Dennis Kucinich reiterated his pledge to withdraw from NAFTA and the WTO yesterday, and cited Bush's reversal on the steel tariffs as evidence that the WTO has caused the US to relinquish sovereignty. According to the NY Times:

Employing relatively untested powers, the eight-year-old World Trade Organization authorized European and Asian nations to devise retaliatory tariffs against the United States, just 11 months before a presidential election. Not surprisingly, the Europeans pulled out an electoral map and proudly announced they would single out products made in the states Mr. Bush most needs to win a second term.
The raw political fact remains that the W.T.O. made the price of protecting the steel industry simply too high. It was left to the Europeans to design the penalties, and they pinpointed textile mills in the Carolinas and farmers in the Midwest and California with a precision that Karl Rove, the president's political adviser, must have grudgingly admired.

Whether aWol succeeds in retaining or gaining the votes from those states sufficiently to counteract the possible loss of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia remains to be seen. I hope not. I was frankly hoping that Bush wouldn't cave to the WTO, not because the tariffs seemed like a great idea, but because it might have led to the destruction of the WTO, which would be a very good thing.