The White House says President Bush has not decided whether to lift U.S. steel tariffs, now that a World Trade Organization appeals panel has determined they violate international trade rules.
White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says the United States disagrees with the action taken by the World Trade Organization. He says the Bush administration wants to study the ruling and its implications, before deciding what to do next.
Mr. McClellan says the White House continues to believe the tariffs are consistent with WTO rules. He says they were imposed last year to give the U.S. steel industry time to restructure and consolidate in the face of growing import competition.
Speaking to reporters accompanying President Bush on a trip to the state of Arkansas, Mr. McClellan offered no timetable for a decision on the fate of the tariffs. It could be a difficult decision for the president, who has promised to do all he can to help create and protect American jobs.
The European Union led the fight against the tariffs in the World Trade Organization. The EU has threatened to put retaliatory measures in place, if the tariffs are not lifted soon.