So, here's the Bush administration trade policy. They put tariffs on textiles, hurting overseas manufacturers (incidentally, reneging on a promise to eliminate trade barriers to Pakistani textiles). They raise agricultural subsidies, with devastating effects on farmers in Africa. And so forth. Which might give you the impression that they're willing to sacrifice the livelihoods of people overseas for the sake of political advantage at home.
Well, not quite. There's also damage at home:
- The cost of hot-rolled steel, an industry benchmark, is up from $210 per ton late last year to $300. Makers of car parts and other steel users, which account for many more jobs than steel producers do, report that suppliers are reneging on promises to deliver steel and holding out for extra money. The result is likely to be job losses in manufacturing and higher prices for American consumers.