April 20, 2002


Europe plans $300m sanctions on US (Financial Times)
The European Commission has proposed slapping more than $300m of trade sanctions on politically-sensitive US products, including fruit, T-shirts, steel, guns and even billiard tables, in retaliation for US-imposed steel tariffs.

The Commission's proposal for retaliation, which would require majority backing from the 15 EU member states, is designed to "hit the US where it hurts" by targeting exports from states crucial to US president George W. Bush's re-election. These include citrus fruits from Florida, apples and pears from Washington and Oregon, and steel from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The plan would levy tariffs worth E377m ($336m) on US exports of those products.

George W. Bush's steel tariffs are stupid. We're a great nation and should just get rid of all our trade barriers, except with totalitarian nations, even if places like Europe use illegal protectionist tactics. Let them cheat--it just means we get stuff cheaper because their taxpayers subsidize it.

But, that said, this targeted retaliation is an attack on our internal system of government and, as such, is a virtual act of war. Get the Predators up and circling over Brussels.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 20, 2002 2:54 PM
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