By the time this gets into print, you may know President Bush's decision on the 201 trade tariff recommendations, expected by early March. The buzz as of early February was that he would enact some tariffs but not the most severe of the recommendations, which called for penalties of as much as 40%. On Feb. 7, the Bush Administration rejected a European Union plan to impose levies on both foreign and domestic steel sold in the U.S.

Underscoring the issue above is that nearly half of the U.S. steelmakers, about 30, have gone bankrupt since 1998, according to the Wall Street Journal. U.S. steelmakers are looking to consolidate, and U.S. Steel recently acquired an option to purchase National Steel Corp. from its Japanese parent, NKK Corp. Many industry observers doubted the deal would ever go through because of strict conditions U.S. Steel was negotiating if they were to exercise the option.