WTO rules that U.S. steel duties illegal

In August 2002 Bush attempted to avert a global trade war over steel by exempting 178 products from the high tariffs he’d imposed in March.

The EU welcomed the news but added “it would pursue legal action against the United States in the World Trade Organization.”

That case has resulted in a decision not favorable to the U.S.

Washington immediately said it would appeal, and would keep in place the tariffs that President Bush had justified as necessary to protect domestic steel producers against a flood of cheap imports during a restructuring period.

In response, the European Union stepped up plans to impose $2.2 billion in retaliatory duties on U.S. imports, ranging from footwear to fruit and vegetables possibly pricing them out of the market.