Bush makes some inroads in steel states

TimesDispatch.com: “President Bush is getting support from unlikely people in battleground states: some steelworkers who are grateful for temporary tariffs that helped the struggling steel industry begin rebounding.

The 201 tariffs were imposed in March 2002 to shield struggling U.S. steel producers from foreign competition. The tariffs were supposed to be in place for three years, but the Bush administration ended them in December, angering the unions.

Still, Bush has won over support from some laborers in steel-producing Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania that have a combined 46 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., and a steel-industry consultant, said it makes sense even though steel unions typically support Democrats, who have harped on Bush for an overall loss of manufacturing jobs during his term.

That’s because during Bush’s presidency, steelworkers have been called back to work in Ohio and Indiana, and their jobs have been saved in West Virginia, he said. ‘That has a powerful impact on people’s psyche.'”

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