President Bush is reportedly considering removing a controversial tariff on steel imports, a move which Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says could help create jobs in Iowa. Grassley says “I thought it was a mistake to institute (the tariff) in the first place.” He says in the two years the tariff has been in place, big steel plants have saved some jobs but more jobs have been lost in other industries that import specialty steel — for building things ranging from farm tractors to office furniture. Grassley says the removal of the steel tariff could have a very positive impact on the Hawkeye State. He says he’s had more indication of job loss as a result of the steel tariff than have been save in any steel industry in Iowa.A White House spokesman says a decision on the tariff is expected later this week. Iowa’s largest steel mill is the Ipsco facility in Muscatine County, which started operation in Montpelier in 1997 and employs 375 people. Nearby Hon (hawn) Industries in Muscatine employs more than three-thousand people and is the nation’s largest producer of value-priced office furniture, and is also the nation’s largest manufacturer and marketer of gas and wood-burning fireplaces.
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