February 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm #3199
by Brad Peck
Chris Braddock and the Washington Post editorial board have covered why the “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus package are a bad idea, here is Tom Donohue’s (Chamber Commerce) most recent statement on the topic:
Some have slammed the U.S. Chamber for opposing Buy American provisions, calling our position economic treason. Try economic patriotism. Such provisions would cost American jobs, trigger retaliation from our trading partners, slow economic recovery by delaying shovel-ready infrastructure projects, and cede our leadership role as a longstanding proponent of free and fair trade and global engagement. If our goal is to create good-paying jobs at home by selling American-made goods and services overseaswhere 95% of the worlds consumers livethen Buy American requirements dont make sense. If we refuse to buy foreign-made goods, then our trading partners will refuse to buy from us. And since we are the worlds largest exporter, who will be hurt more?
Buy American casts our trading partners as enemies, which is absurd. Foreign firms employ over five million Americans at good wages, for a total payroll of more than $350 billion. Folks outside the Beltway understand this. In fact, state governors compete intensely to attract the next Toyota or Siemens facility. Its easy to demagogue opposition to such a pleasing sounding thing as Buy American. But its time to face the reality about the real-world consequences of these provisions for American workers, businesses, and our nations global standing. And lets take note of history. In 1930, when Congress approved the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, other countries responded by closing their markets. The upshot was a collapse in U.S. trade that turned a sharp recession into the Great Depression.
Those who dont know history are doomed to repeat it. Lets not make the same mistakes again, especially now.[/blockquote]
February 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm #6268
Here is recent article Washington Post covering US Chamber of Commerce stance against “Buy US & use US workers only” provision in the Congress Stimilus package that all refiners need to be aware of. In addition to strong push to strip out this provision they have put full frontal attack to stop the E-verify system that makes it easy to check employees are legal US citizens/workers.
Refinery managers & workers are always very active in their hometown environments and contribute time, money & support to the US Chamber of Commerce but they have become a activitst against the US Workers/Producers and a lobbist for the Global Multi-National companies instead.
I think there should be a big pushback for the Chamber to drop this stance or lose the support of local US merchants and industries that support them. Especially in this case where it is about US taxpayers funding US companies to get US workers back into the workforce. We simply do not have enough money to fund a global form of this process (as it is the Wind Energy funding will put result in 3 foreign jobs for every 1.5 US jobs since so many of the parts are made overseas).
The scare tactics that US Chamber Tom Donohue use are completely false – this has nothing to do with sparking a trade war, it isnt about our trade partners it is about keeping US business & plants open. And another of his reference to Smoot-Hartley tariff causing a collapse in U.S. trade that caused the Great Depression is just stupid. Anyone who has looked into the cause of that depression knows it was casued by over speculation into stock market, the ending of US agriculture & horse transportation industry and the beginning of new Industrial area driven by the US Automobile industry, Railroad frieght and opening isolated local food markets to outside imports. And it was only WWII that pulled us out …… not the medling of FDR/Truman programs.
Please keep give anyone on Chamber some feedback to let them know they either need remove the US from thier organizations name or start living up to it.
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