"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wMonday, March 11, 2002

MORE ON THE BUSH STEAL: The Mighty Instapundit, as Kaus calls him, thinks that Bush's retrograde decision to slap steel tariffs on foreign steel is less than a big deal. Reynolds says that there isn't a free market in steel now, nor has that ever been the case. "In some sort of foul Stalinist afterecho," he says, "countries around the world seem to equate a steel industry with prosperity and national security."

Reynolds notes that most countries heavily subsidize and shelter their steel industries, so Bush's decision, to use an unfortunate simile that I still can't get out of my head, isn't "like pissing on the virgin snow of free trade." Enter Paul Magnusson.

In a Business Week article (no link because I'm not going to waste your time with something that requires a lengthy registration; look it up if you're interested) Magnusson spells out Bush's "ultimate goal" - convincing the rest of the world's governments to get out of the steel business - and judges it to be "laudable." "For that," explains Magnusson, "he'll have to get all steel-producing nations back to the bargaining table for some no-nonsense talks." And the recent announcement is meant to serve as just such a catalyst.

How's that for a contrarian streak: Free trade through the imposition of tariffs.

posted by Jeremy at 11:46 AM