U.S. Tariffs on Steel Response of the European Countries Even if we accept that there might be an argument on equity or fairness grounds for temporarily protecting an industry facing import competition, it is hard to argue that such protection should occur due to a change in exchange rates. The appreciation of the dollar lowered prices for all other imports too, so many industries faced competition. Why should the steel industry be protected and not the others? U.S. Tariffs on Steel Response of the European Countries The WTO ruling entitled the European Union and other countries to retaliate against the U.S. by imposing tariffs of their own against U.S. exports. The EU quickly began to draw up a list of products and naturally picked products that would have the greatest impact on the U.S. The threat of tariffs led President Bush to reconsider the U.S. tariffs on steel, and on December 5, 2003, he announced that they would be suspended. You can see how this chain of events could lead to a tariff war.
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