President Bush Lifts Steel Tariffs

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The tariffs were imposed on foreign-made steel 20 months ago. The president will avoid a trade war by doing this, but he could also hurt his chances in three presidential battleground states where the steel industry is a strong factor.

"The decision I make will be based on my strong belief that American consumers and economy is better off in a world that trades freely and a world that trades fairly. And I listened to the international trade report that steel imports are important to our industry. I acted. I acted to give the steel industry time to adjust. I acted in time to say to the world we will trade, but we want to trade in a fair way," said President Bush.

Bush administration officials also believe there is domestic benefit from lifting the tariffs, many U.S. manufacturers have complained about the higher cost of steel since the tariffs went into effect.