Steeling For a Fight

Photograph for TIME by Christopher Morris—VII

Learning from his father, the President wants to get out the message: I care — but don't blame me for the current slump

First, George W. Bush twitted Europeans' environmental correctness by deciding to let the United States sit out the Kyoto treaty on global warming. Then he offended their sophisticated moral sensibilities with his plainspoken bluster about "the axis of evil." But last week, U.S. unilateralism struck an especially sensitive part of Europeans' anatomy: their pocket books. In a decision that seems directly to contradict the free-market gospel that is America's chief political export, Bush imposed protectionist tariffs of 8% to 30% on foreign steel.

That's lower than the up to 40% penalties Big Steel said it needed to survive a...

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