The Wall Street Journal editorial board urges the president to take the WTO ruling and run, using it as an opening to extricate the U.S. from tariffs that don't have a political purpose for an Administration that has "abandoned its free trade principles."
"Meanwhile, the strategy of using the tariffs to score political points has backfired. The tariffs have done nothing to win over protectionists, as evidenced by the growing number of blue-collar union endorsements of Democrat Presidential contender (and anti-free-trader) Dick Gephardt. Karl Rove might also note that a disproportionate number of the steel-consuming jobs that have been lost are in key battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania, which Mr. Bush needs if he is to win re-election."
"If the tariffs don't go, all this will only get worse."
USA Today 's James Cox reports, "The world's trade court Monday dealt a blow to President Bush's efforts to help ailing steelmakers, forcing him to choose between them and other sensitive industries, including food and textiles." LINK
The Los Angeles Times leads the paper with the decision, stating the steel tariffs imposed by President Bush last year violate international trading rules and the European Union's readiness to play tough. LINK
The New York Times examines President Bush's options: LINK
While the paper's ed board urges the Bush Administration to go ahead and lift those tariffs, already. LINK
And, as always, The Note is disappointed because these stories have nary a mention of legacy costs.
House of Labor:
Wednesday marks the official kick-off of the House of Labor's Civil War reenactment as the two biggie up-and-comers in the movement, AFSCME and SEIU, join together to lend their bona fides to the insurgent Dean campaign, while the "Alliance for Economic Justice," a coalition of 18 unions supporting Congressman Gephardt, is prepping to go up with an ad in Iowa on the issue of trade and lobbying UAW locals to get behind the Missouri Congressman.
(Attention Ken Burns!)
Yes, ladies and gentleman, the split is real and deep.
Starting with the Dean endorsement, ABC News has confirmed the Chinese Room at the Mayflower Hotel has been rented for tomorrow's 1:00 pm ET McEntee-Stern duet. LINK (Note that is the only Mayflower ballroom named in honor of a country!)
Expect to see the Painters Union folks there, and expect to see the marquee labor names add momentum and energy to the pro-Dean union ranks.
Also Wednesday, ABC News' Gayle Tzemach reports the Alliance for Economic Justice will launch a 30-second TV ad in Iowa's major markets on the importance of the trade issue. The spot will run for one week and we are told the buy is in the "several hundred thousand dollar" range.
Here's a look at the script:
"Ron" "American workers can compete against anyone, anywhere. But thanks to NAFTA, the rules of the game are no longer fair. Our jobs are going to Mexico, to workers we were forced to train. And they're making a fraction of the money we made to support our families. NAFTA — it may be good for Big Business. But for thousands of Iowa workers, it's cost us our jobs and hurt our communities. The next time someone asks for your vote, ask them where they stood during the fight against NAFTA."