Accessibility links

Bush Renews Commitment to Free Trade

President Bush says he is "strongly" committed to free trade.

Mr. Bush spoke during a news conference in London Thursday, amid rising tensions on trade issues between the United States and major trading partners in the European Union, China, and Latin America over steel, textiles, and farm products.

Mr. Bush says he will make a "timely decision" on whether or not to end disputed tariffs on steel imported from the European Union and other nations.

He says British Prime Minister Tony Blair brought up the issue of steel tariffs three times during their London talks.

The World Trade Organization recently ruled that U.S. steel tariffs violate trading agreements, clearing the way for the E.U. to impose retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars worth of U.S.-made products.

Mr. Bush also said he is reviewing trade with China, after his administration imposed quotas on some Chinese-made textiles. Mr. Bush said his administration acted because of what he called "market disruptions" caused by increasing textile imports.

There are also talks underway in Miami this week involving 34 Western Hemisphere nations working to create the world's largest free trade zone.