Next Move in Steel: Revocation or Retaliation?

Policy Brief
03-10
October 2003

In May 2003, the WTO dispute panel ruled that US steel safeguards imposed in March 2002 are illegal. The WTO Appellate Body is all but certain to confirm that judgment in November 2003. Then the Bush administration will face a choice. It can keep the safeguards in place, pleasing steel producers and important constituencies. But doing so would further anger steel users, who have lost more business and jobs as a consequence of the safeguards than producers have gained. Alternatively, the Bush administration can revoke the safeguards. This choice would eliminate an unfair tax on steel users and send a powerful and positive signal to the world trading community.