Wednesday, November 12, 2003


It will be interesting to see if George W. Bush really is a supporter of free trade, or if he is going after the voters living in the rust belt states. I think that Sebastian Mallaby hits the nail on the head with the conclusion that Bush and his representatives have made a huge mistake by thinking "they could buy the allegiance of protectionists, whether they are big farmers or the steel industry, to make some advance in their long-term trade policy and not become captives of the protectionists." [Elizabeth Becker's article, For Bush, a Janus-Like View of Trade.] Here is another excerpt from the same article:

"The "red states" territory in the Midwest and South that voted for Mr. Bush in the 2000 election are some of the biggest recipients of those subsidies, and it is unlikely that he will upset those voters with a new free trade agreement soon before the presidential election."

I wonder what went wrong with Nucor after the glory days of Ken Iverson? Look at this statement by Daniel DiMicco, vice chairman, president and CEO of Nucor:

"The steel industry is a test case for problems facing all sectors of U.S. manufacturing. The way to send a clear message that the U.S. is truly committed to a level playing field for domestic manufacturing is to keep the president's steel tariffs intact. This is the tip of the iceberg and all of America is watching." [Ineffective Steel Tariffs Now Illegal, Too by Dan Ackman.]

You will have some great time of reading if you could get your hands on the following books:
American Steel by Richard Preston.
Plain Talk : Lessons from a Business Maverick by Ken Iverson.

I recommend you to read the following articles on Capitalism Magazine web site:

$ Laissez-Faire: The Right Cure For Steel by Aaron Schavey.
$ Let the Steel Tariffs Die by Bruce Bartlett.

In the news:
US considers severe new steel penalties.
Q&A: US-EU Steel Dispute.

UPDATE 11/14/03: News flash & action alert!
George W. Bush: "I'm in the process of reviewing the extent to which the industry has been restructured. I'm going to make a decision within a reasonable period of time."

Read Outlaw the Sun by Fr�d�ric Bastiat. How about sending an early X-mas present to GWB? Maybe the President will change his mind if he reads The Law and Economic Fallacies...

Steal Industry

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.

UPDATE 11/15/03: Bush's Steel Opening. [Via The Intellectual Activist.]