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Thursday, December 04, 2003

Baby steps are good

The White House will announce at 17:30 GMT its decision about the, to put it mildly, controversial steel tariffs. Although there's ample reason to doubt the general level of economic wisdom of the current administration, the usual leakage has indicated for a while that they are about to do the right thing (to drop the tariffs), although giving the wrong reasons ("they worked"; no, they didn't, and even if they had, "worked" in this context means "helped the steel industry make some extra bucks, paid by the American consumer" ).

It would have been better, surely, to avoid going through this in the first place, but let's take our consolations wherever we can find them.

Update: The "leaks" proved correct, and President Bush has announced that the tariffs have "achieved their purpose", and are therefore to be lifted. The EU's answer is expected to be some diplomatic version of a relieved "Okeeey...." and a few rolling eyeballs.

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