Monday, December 1
Bush Takes Political Gamble with Decision on Steel
By John Whitesides, Reuters, December 1. 2003

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush's expected repeal of tariffs on steel imports is a political gamble with the potential to hurt him where it counts -- in the battleground states that could decide the 2004 election.

The repeal, expected to be announced by the end of the week, is certain to provoke anger in steel-producing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, which have been hit hard by job losses and are key targets for both political parties in 2004.

But Bush faced an even greater threat in sticking with the tariffs, imposed last year but ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization, with Europe and Asia poised to retaliate against $2.2 billion in U.S. exports, analysts said on Monday.
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