The price of a whole host of made-in-America products -- jeans and Florida orange juice, t-shirts and lavatory paper, suspenders and ballpoint pens, bras and bowling alley equipment -- could double in price next month. In other words, another transatlantic trade war has begun.
President Bush might soon have to decide whether he wishes to continues with the tariffs he imposed last year on steel imports in a bid to "safeguard" the us steel industry from cheaper imports. This is because the World Trade Organization (wto) has -- pending a routine formal adoption of a report by the Dispute Settlement Body -- adjudged the tariffs illegal
The ruling came on November 10, 2003, when the appeals court of the wto -- the Appellate Body -- released its report on the us-imposed safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products. The body asked the us to bring its laws into conformity with its wto obligations. Instantly, the eu challenged the us to comply with the wto ruling; otherwise us imports worth us $2.2 billion could face retaliatory duties as early as December 6, 2003.