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Obama warns of trade wars from 'Buy American' stimulus provision

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I may not be old enough, but did we try "The ‘‘Buy American’’ provision" in the 80's? Did it work?

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"Buy American" certainly did have a run back in the 1980s, the president at the time was probably the chap who starred in that cinematic masterpiece, "Bedtime for Bonzo" (not the chimp, but the actor). The background to "Buy American" in the 1980s was the increasing trade friction between the US and Japan in everything from home electronics to supercomputers to autos. Anyway, the campaign (or legislation) featured large-scale tax breaks for US taxpayers, a large part of which ended up being used to purchase Japanese home electronics and autos.

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timorborder: "Buy American" certainly did have a run back in the 1980s, the president at the time was probably the chap who starred in that cinematic masterpiece..."

Where were you in the 80's?

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Do you really want to know? I was just finishing up graduate school (MA in Japanese Politics at ADFA - the Australian Defence Force Academy).

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"I was just finishing up graduate school (MA in Japanese Politics at ADFA - the Australian Defence Force Academy)."

And Aussie students were taught Reagan opposed free trade?

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"Buy American"

That means buying a Toyota, which is manufactured in America, using mostly American-made parts, as opposed to, say, a Ford Mustang, which is made in Canada with around 60% foreign-made parts.

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I did not know we made anything any more, except paper money, and that all tanked.

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And just who is it that put the "Buy American" provision in the economic stimulus legislation Congress is debating? Must be a very deep thinker.

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and I thought Obama was going to clamp down on the unfair trade and get manufacturing jobs back in the US after all has moved overseas and our trade deficit the largest in history, Seems he is going to be a push-over when a little pressure is put on him and that even being by outside sources..

What a flake he is already becomming. I was hoping this would not happen but have always been afraid it would..

What a frigging shame.

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Obama's comments are very smart. A trade war based on old ideas would be further pain for the world. This notion about buy American is ridiculous. It should be buy what you can afford, and if the foreign made product is quality and offers a better deal then the choice is easy.

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Hold on Everton, much of the cheaper products are a result of the US government allowing them to be low, be it tax breaks or encouragement. I do believe the playing field should be level. For example, and I benefit from one lopsided area and that is using Mexican trucks within the US where as US trucks can not get business there. There is a problem there, but like you said, the best price wins. I also don't like the idea that Japan has very strong walls up against foreign products in their local market and the US has let Japan in very easily. The same for China. I have not looked, but I am sure we have the upper hand against other countries and in turn, we should make them fair as well if said country needs the assistance.

There is one thing I had hoped Obama can do and so far there has been a good roll and that is having American consider each other first and other places second.

Also to be noted and that is relevant is the immigration. I can't see being allowed to hire immigrants and not pay them at least a decent wage. And if forced to pay a decent wage we should have a system like Mexico has and that is citizens should be hired over illegal immigrants - kind of an affirmative action as the economy spirals downward. Once we are back on track we can take the issue with hiring illegals up then.

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Considering that we want to rebuild the infrastructure of this country both roads/bridges and electric, do we even have the capacity to produce the quanties of steal that we might need? Will we need to buy from overseas till we have rebuilt some here ourselves?

Do we have the jobs and factories up and running here to produce the equipment and materials needed to start rebuilding America or do we need time to start bringing those jobs home, if they ever come home?

If we started bringing those jobs home, would we have the employees trained and producing what it will take to rebuild America or is there a lapse of time between this rebuilding or refurbishing factories, training/hiring and getting to manufacturing goods and the time that we could actually put shovel to the dirt?

How hard is it to bring jobs back to the states after they have been moved to China, Mexico or India? < :-)

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TonyUS - "What a flake he is already becomming. I was hoping this would not happen but have always been afraid it would..What a frigging shame."

I really think you should assign blame where blame is due - at the feet of the last president - for the position President Obama is now in - between a rock and a very hard place.

Anyway, the "Buy American" gimmick is primarily aimed at the steel industry, considering there is soon going to be a lot of construction going on.

At the end of the day, Americans will buy based on what they can afford, and as usual, for everyday items it will be "Buy Chinese" from Wal-Mart, and for autos, it will be "Buy Japanese" from Toyota and Nissan.

This factoid must be tough to handle for Americans who still think their country is tops.

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On Monday, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned that protectionist policies such as the ‘‘Buy American’’ provision do not work and will be harmful to the economic recovery.

it not the "harmful"-ness... it is illegal, thanks to those wonderful free-trade agreements... like NAFTA...

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skipthesong... wrong question.

"but didn't we try "The ‘‘Buy American’’ provision" in the 80's? Did it work?"

A better question would be haven't the Japanese, Chinese, Koreans,(and pretty much every othere country doing business with the USA) been protecting their markets for years ? So much so that the USA has had a trade deficit with every single one ! The results seem pretty clear, market protection works ! The Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese have literaly destroyed US markets with their constant focus on the US. Of course eventually these big three would strangle the American worker out of his/her job as domestic plants and factories gave way to cheaper goods.

I say promote the "Buy American" campaign and let the chips fall where they may. With millions of Americans out of work it's hard for you to convince me that "unfair" competition is somehow good for the American economy. Now... if the playing field was level anmd all things were equal, I might agree. But I'll betcha a hundred bucks an American worker would love to put electronic components together for the same wage, about $10-$15 an hour as his Japanese counterpart. The Japanese have loved taking advantage of the echange rate for years... them days are gone ! Time to stop Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba, Samgsung etc at the borders. Obama talked about "change" for months... time to put your money where yer mouth is !

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How hard is it to bring jobs back to the states after they have been moved to China, Mexico or India? < :-)

Hard, very hard I guess. The primary motive to move was to increase profits for the company by using lower labor costs. Moving it back would cancel the cost advantage and the market would decrease proportionately. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx./

Pres. Obama is correct, for the US to move toward protectionism would trigger a stronger than expected response due to many have committed to restraining protectionist policies - US committed last year at the APEC Forum. Strong protectionist policies would definitely isolate the US even further in the global markets. I suspect that the operative term behind closed doors in DC is,"currency maneuvers".

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"Pres. Obama is correct, for the US to move toward protectionism would trigger a stronger than expected response due to many have committed to restraining protectionist policies"

Maybe ! But America's "ace in the hole" is it's dominnce in agriculture. Nations like Japan could ill afford to get into a tit for tat battle with the USA, who could just turn off the food supply and force Japan to decide between factories or farms. The eventual outcome would be Japan being blown back to the meiji era. The same could be said for many of America's trading partners, especially those dependant on American grain. Sorry, but I still see no negative effects from a long term decision to protect US markets. Americans can make cars, electronics, rubber dolls etc. With the exchange rates as they are it is simply now cheaper to manufacture it in the states. Sorry Nippon and Korea, maybe you can sell your trinkets to those wealthy Russians.

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ONe thing that strikes me is even though I have setup a Japanese company and I am backed by a very large Japanese company, I still face the "you are not Japanese" and find it hard to sell our products and services directly on my own with my big backers even when the product is cheaper, locally produced, and better quality.....

I sometimes find myself saying America should have remained that way.

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To mrgalactic:

To a degree, you may be correct. Japan may be the only one the US can put in a vise - the relationship sucks. But, the problem comes up w/ foreign policy - US needs Japan in the Indian Ocean - do you know WHY? It's an unstable situation than before, b/c Japan does have options in APEC, etc... if the US gets desperate.

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The government should talk about it a lot, make it seem like they're going to put it in there, then back off at the last minute. That way it gets on everyone's minds, they'll be more willing to do it voluntarily, and then no international laws will be broken. It's my understanding that a "Buy American" provision is against the rules...

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mrgalactic: Sorry, but I still see no negative effects from a long term decision to protect US markets

Really? I haven't seen any positive information showing how market protection would work for the US.

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SushiSake3: At the end of the day, Americans will buy based on what they can afford, and as usual, for autos, it will be "Buy Japanese" from Toyota and Nissan.

It was my understanding that the current dollar/yen rate was making Japanese cars more expensive, and they were slightly already more expensive to begin with. Do you have some other information about this?

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adaydream:"How hard is it to bring jobs back to the states after they have been moved to China, Mexico or India? "

With our current corporate tax, second highest in the world? Pretty hard. Of course, if the Dems were serious about creating jobs, and helping the small businesses that have proven the last 15 years that they are in fact the engine of growth in America, they could take initiative and let nearly failed states like Michigan experiment with a greatly reduced tax which would lure businesses thinking of relocating to Ireland or India or China.

But the anti-business, anti-capitalist stuff plays too well in an America whose Democrat-dominated public schools system has left over half of its graduates of these last forty years or so bereft of critical thinking skills.

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In case anyone missed Sushi's position, here's a summary of his posts for the past 72 hours.

Creepy, eh?

I really think you should assign blame where blame is due - at the feet of the last president

and

he didn't break the economy - the last guy did.

and

maybe you have some ideas how to recover that $350-odd bilion the Bush administration

and

The previous president only planted his cronies into power

and

the biggest global economic meltdown in 80 years, caused in no small part by the failures of the previous U.S. administration

and

Considering how the previous U.S. administration scammed Americans out of billions

and

the main reason this stimulus package is even necessary is because of the collasal balls-up caused by the previous administration

and

merry band of clueless supporters have spent the last 8 years

and

Look what the Republicans did to the economy.

and

If that wasn't bad enough, there's Republican voters trying to support Republican moves.

and

Republicans are actually trying to

and

the GOP still doesn't seem to realize

and

doesn't spend as much as the previous president

and

seeing how the McCain campaign "vetted" Sarah Palin

and

exist in the heads of Republicans who - like their Idiot God Idol Rush Limbaugh

and

thanks to the support of various Republicans and conservatives

Can anyone guess what his position will be tomorrow on any topic that might arise regarding the US government? ;)

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"Can anyone guess what his position will be tomorrow on any topic that might arise regarding the US government?"

Smith can.

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Sushi's position has the virtue of being accurate.

What the Republican haters want to achieve is more of the Big Lie: Try to pin as much as possible on the Democratic minority that was in place until 2006, and now, smear the new president incessantly. (Noting that SuperLib does little else beside comment on other posters as a way of defending the disasterous administration that got the US in the shape it's in.)

Say what you will of trade, globalization in its current practice has not delivered on its promises.

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Well I don't think focusing on the here and now and talking about relevant points regarding the current stimulus plan is defending Bush. What I'm mostly trying to do is clear out all of the garbage. That would mean you. :)

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yabits, the interesting thing about SuperLib is that he claims to have voted for Obama, and yet goes hard out bashing the Democratic party and their supporters.

If I was a betting man, I would say that something doesn't gel.... :-)

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The Japanese have loved taking advantage of the exchange rate for years... them days are gone ! Time to stop Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba, Samsung etc at the borders.

Think again. The yen has been strong for a very long time, and still Americans continued to buy Japanese products. Why? Quality. What is mostly to blame for the current economic disaster? Americans living and spending beyond their means. Total irresponsible economic policies. Creating the hugest deficit in history. Sticking your heads in the sand. Don't blame your problems on others, don't start a hate campaign. Wake up, grow up.

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Um, exactly where have I bashed democrats and supporters? ;) You aren't a Democrat or a Democrat support. You're simply anti-Republican.

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I see headlines elsewhere saying Obama has backed down on the "Buy American" provision.

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Why not compromise?

Get rid of the actual provision, and then actually only spend the stimulus money on American-made goods!

How would that be different from Japan's rice policy? Or the EU's CAP? They don't say they won't buy American, they just don't (or won't even let it in.)

If the US wants to dig itself into debt and eventual bankruptcy, shouldn't it be able to choose from where it buys the shovel?

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Forget "buy American," buy local is much better.

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SuperLib - "You aren't a Democrat or a Democrat support. You're simply anti-Republican."

Wrong. :-)

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if it was "buy local" people would start moving states

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"Buy American"

That would be a made in America Komatsu tractor, as opposed to, say, a John Deere tractor, which is made somewhere else.

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Well I don't think focusing on the here and now and talking about relevant points regarding the current stimulus plan is defending Bush.

Putting your little personal insults aside, first of all, it has been rightfully said that "you can't solve a problem using the same thinking that got you into the problem." Wanting to divert discussion from the thinking, the M.O., and the political philosophy of what has brought the US to the brink of the abyss is akin to defending that type of thinking. If "focusing on the here and now" means forgetting history, that is a recipe for more disaster.

Regarding the stimulus bill, SuperLib has been challenged to bring up any point of it and offer an intelligent analysis. I have seen no evidence in any post of this happening. Do you have any different information about this?

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wuzzademcrat at 07:45 PM JST - 4th February, this rant lost me.

But the anti-business, anti-capitalist stuff plays too well in an America whose Democrat-dominated public schools system has left over half of its graduates of these last forty years or so bereft of critical thinking skills.

The American schools have been run by the republicans, "No Child Left Behind" for the last few years.

I followed your post pretty good till this. < :-)

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I see headlines elsewhere saying Obama has backed down on the "Buy American" provision.

LOL! Would not warning of trade wars indicate that Obama never endorsed "buy American" from the beginning?

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Avoid buying American. It will save the rest of the world.

Good advice.

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Of course Obama would warn of a trade war, until America curbs its dependency on oil and gas it will remain well, over a barrel.

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But the anti-business, anti-capitalist stuff plays too well in an America whose Democrat-dominated public schools system has left over half of its graduates of these last forty years or so bereft of critical thinking skills.

Thus speaks Exhibit A.

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Yabits: Regarding the stimulus bill, SuperLib has been challenged to bring up any point of it and offer an intelligent analysis. I have seen no evidence in any post of this happening. Do you have any different information about this?

I think the problem is that you most likely skipped over the numerous posts I've made on the subject with a few different people here, plus the links I've posted giving breakdowns of the package, because it wasn't anti-Democrat. You probably also missed the parts where I said the largest percentage of the stimulus is going to tax cuts, which I used to criticize Republicans in the Senate.

Not really good material for you to go off on a Bush rant....so my guess is that my posts didn't even register with you. ;) About 75% of my time has been spent talking about the package, the other 25% has been kicking the partisan radicals such as yourself to the curb, and rightfully so.

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Yabits: Obama never endorsed "buy American" from the beginning?

Please....please tell me you are joking.

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Understand that a sudden tack back to protectionism will NOT see the world's economy start drifting away from the reef.

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I think the problem is that you most likely skipped over the numerous posts I've made on the subject with a few different people here...

I said "intelligent analysis" of the stimulus plan. I have seen no evidence of it.

...plus the links I've posted giving breakdowns of the package

A link itself does not constitute intelligent analysis any more than saying "ditto" does. Adding comments to a link might. I have seen no evidence of that yet, either.

About 75% of my time has been spent talking about the package...

My readings show otherwise. The problem may be that you can't judge your own output rationally. Or you may be adding many dozens of posts -- the numbers needed to bring your average in line with your claim -- to threads that I have not seen.

Please....please tell me you are joking.

This would go into the 90+% of your time that is devoid of any intelligent analysis, and I'm giving you the benefit of a doubt. Intelligent analysis would require posting evidence showing Obama's support for the "buy American" provisions and his deemphasis of potential trade wars that could result. I have seen no evidence of that.

If you were more focused on refuting the claims made with facts rather than trying to "kick" people to the "curb" you wouldn't be so open to embarrassing yourself.

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I disagree with the "buy American" provisions and the whole concept of buying any product from any country, based on nationalism.

It's subsidized corporate mediocrity. If a company wants my consumer dollar, they should give me the best value for my dollar.

With regards to the 80s "buy American" campaign, it was largely aimed at Japanese goods. Japanese autos during the 80s increased in overall quality and the Big Three's quality decreased. I believe (just speculation) that the "buy American" campaign contributed to that. However, the campaign (at least regarding cars) didn't work at all as cars are an item that most people look at quality first and brand name later (again, my opinion, but...Japanese auto sales did increase while U.S.'s decreased during that period).

Taka

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Mr.Galactic,

Maybe ! But America's "ace in the hole" is it's dominnce in agriculture. Nations like Japan could ill afford to get into a tit for tat battle with the USA, who could just turn off the food supply and force Japan to decide between factories or farms. The eventual outcome would be Japan being blown back to the meiji era.

Or they can demand payment on the $577 billion we owe them. Just saying.

Taka

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I disagree with the "buy American" provisions and the whole concept of buying any product from any country, based on nationalism. It's subsidized corporate mediocrity. If a company wants my consumer dollar, they should give me the best value for my dollar.

Since taxpayer dollars are being used, your statement requires careful consideration.

First of all, the "buy American" provision to the stimulus package was not written by the Obama Administration -- it was a proposal added in by Congress. Secondly, in spending taxpayer dollars, the federal government, in its federal acquisition regulations (FARs) has long had provisions for giving American companies some advantages over foreign firms in the bidding process for the supply of goods and services. I would not be surprised if the principle that has been in place via the FARs didn't lead to the proposed provision in the stimulus plan.

The US government, for those who may not know, usually awards contracts based on "best value," but some questions may be asked as to what that really means. Put simply, if a person thinks that sending dollars overseas in order to satisfy a low-ball price-desire is "best value," and those dollars, in turn, are used to support things like child labor, destruction of the planet, or terrorist activities, is that really best value? When dollars flowing out constitute an imbalance and then undermine the future value of the dollar, is that really best value?

It is easy to say that by buying American, one might be subsidizing mediocrity. On the other hand, the failure to really examine the economic transaction, including the hidden costs (externalities), could lead to a very short-term and ultimately self-destructive view of value.

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Maybe ! But America's "ace in the hole" is it's dominnce in agriculture. >Nations like Japan could ill afford to get into a tit for tat battle >with the USA, who could just turn off the food supply and force Japan to >decide between factories or farms. The eventual outcome would be Japan >being blown back to the meiji era.

You really think that's our "ace in the hole"? Shall we ask the Australians, Canadians and Argentinians their opinion on that? Look what happened with our beef, we handed the whole Japanese market over to Australia. You want to repeat that with our agriproducts?

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That would be a made in America Komatsu tractor, as opposed to, say, a John Deere tractor, which is made somewhere else.

John Deere tractors sold in the US are manufactured in Waterloo, Iowa or Augusta, Georgia, depending on size. It is rated as one of the best US manufacturing companies to work for.

The reason why heavy manufacturing stays as close as possible to the market is because of the rising costs of transporations.

Komatsu-America makes fine, American-built products too.

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Regarding US agricultural prowess: The corporations running agribusiness are multinational in nature and, as such, not likely to be an "ace in the hole" for just one country.

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If there is a trade war tit for tat will take precidence over logic, believe me. It's happened before. The EU won't allow US or CDN beef in already, the US is after CDN lumber, China has all sorts of barriers. The list goes on. It wouldn't take much to turn this into a debacle that would push unemployment past 15%. It is apalling that people have such a limited perspective of history. Without trade we will all be on the street selling apples. Home grown, of course.

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Without trade we will all be on the street selling apples.

What is wrong with an economy that is able to thrive on its own resources?

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What is wrong with an economy that is able to thrive on its own >resources?

I don't know. Let's ask North Korea.

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I don't know. Let's ask North Korea.

The puts forward the assumption that the sole reason for North Korea's condition is its failure to trade. There are many, many nations which do trade and whose people are poverty-striken.

On the other hand, a nation like Bhutan has very little in the way trade and is nearly as cloistered as North Korea. And yet there is very little in the way of human misery there.

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Perhaps the fundamental issue underlying the "buy American" provision is a realization of the long-term folly of trying to base and grow economies on resources that are not sustainable. North Korea wants a modern military, which requires all manner of resources not available to it. Its ability to be destructive to others will be acquired through trade -- as will any other despotic nation's.

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It's kind of a moot point isn't it?

If you want to buy American it's fine, except when it isn't produced in America. Then you can't buy American.

That doesn't mean because they moved out of the country we still deal with them. Nah, doesn't work that way. Until you bring that business back from overseas, we don't do business with you. (I like that thought.)

Also, these banks that are attempting to get 150,000 work visas to bring overseas financial people in from overseas and keep out Americans from getting those jobs they are firing right and left for. This includes those $90,000.00 jobs you're going overseas to fill. That has to be stopped.

There's more to buying American then just buying stuff. < :-)

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Yabits: Intelligent analysis would require posting evidence showing Obama's support for the "buy American" provisions

And your intelligent analysis would have to include some kind of demonstration that you aren't completely clueless on the issue. You really had no idea about any of this? None at all?

http://www.google.co.jp/search?num=20&hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=IzV&q=obama%27s+buy+american&btnG=Search

TheStar.com | World | Obama's 'Buy American' plan blasted http://www.thestar.com/article/579557

EU trade chief encouraged by Obama Buy American move | Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE5132CT20090204?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

Mandelson condemns Obama 'Buy American' call as protectionism ... http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article5622438.ece

Trade War Brewing Over Obama's "Buy American" Policy http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/04/trade-war-brewing-over-ob_n_163798.html

CANOE -- CNEWS - World: Obama: 'Buy American' could lead to trade war http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2009/02/03/8251916-cp.html

EU anger over Obama's 'Buy American' move - ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/04/2481689.htm

China Challenges: Obama's "Buy American" Trade Provision http://chinachallenges.blogs.com/my_weblog/2009/01/obamas-buy-american-trade-provision-.html

Obama's 'Buy American' Plan -- and why it's stupid http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/01/03/obamas-buy-american-plan-and-why-its-stupid/

Obama's "Buy American First" poses trade dilemma | 10connects.com ... http://www.tampabays10.com/news/national/story.aspx?storyid=99463&catid=81

Obama's 'buy American' rescue package could lead to trade war ... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1133510/Obamas-buy-American-rescue-package-runs-risk-trade-war-Browns-plea-protectionism-Davos-summit.html

Obama’s 'Buy American' a threat to international trade http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/opinion357.19339.html

EU angered by Obama 'Buy American' call - The Irish Times http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2009/0204/1233713217105.html

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SuperLib:

None of your links showed a trace of evidence that President Obama lent any support to the "buy American" provisions in the stimulus package, or that he favored protectionism in any aspect. No "buy American" plans were ever mentioned during his campaign and, if you'll look at the following link, it was not in the details of the plan announced by Congress on January 15.

http://newstalkradiowhio.com/blogs/jamie_dupree/2009/01/details-of-stimulus-plan.html

House Democrats today released the details of their economic stimulus bill developed with input from aides to President Elect Barack Obama.

Seeing no evidence otherwise, I am left to conclude that you are mistaken in your assertions that Obama was personally behind the "buy American" provisions.

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Yabits: Seeing no evidence otherwise, I am left to conclude that you are mistaken in your assertions that Obama was personally behind the "buy American" provisions.

No worries. I wasn't expecting to change your mind. I was mostly interested in exposing you.

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I wasn't expecting to change your mind.

Not a single one of your links proved that Obama personally was behind or endorsed the "buy American" provision. Any fair-minded person can verify this for themselves. You actually expect to change minds when you can't post supporting evidence?

I was mostly interested in exposing you.

And ended up making yourself look more foolish in the process.

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"trade wars"

This is ridiculous. There shouldn't be any trade barriers/tariffs. If Americans want to buy stinky French cheese, by golly they should be able to buy it for the equivalent price in France + shipping. If Japanese want to buy California rice, they should be able to buy it for the equivalent price in California + shipping. But noooooooooo, we have to have all these ridiculous tariffs!

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Cheese is not really the issue here.

The so-called "buy American" stimulus provision (Section 1604 in the House version) applies to projects involving the construction or repair of public buildings and only public buildings. And it applies only to iron, steel, or manufactured goods used in in those projects.

The provision would NOT apply if suitable sources of American-made iron, steel, or manufactured goods could not be obtained, or if using the American-made goods increases the cost of the project by more than 25%.

In this sense, the federal/state/local governments involved are the "customer." Federal taxpayers are really the ones kicking in the money, including those taxpayers whose lives and livelihoods depend upon American-based industries. Every dollar going to local industries stimulates many more dollars created in the economy as a ripple effect -- something that won't happen if the dollars are sent to a foreign country.

If you want to pay up to 24% extra for American-made cheese, that should be your prerogative. If a sufficient number of Americans decide to do so, we are being warned that it will result in a trade war. If "we the People" decide that it's worth up to 24% extra to buy US-made iron and steel, we are being told that there will be repercussions.

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I would like to amend my previous post to add that the term "public buildings" is defined by the act to include airports, canals, bridges, railroads, mass transit systems, harbors, piers, etc.

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This is ridiculous saying the US should be afraid of a trade war.

You tell me what country has a trade DEFICIT as large as ours. Afraid we will even sell less overseas? What the heck!

The problem is not selling less overseas, but us buying more from overseas. Put this in reverse guys and girls, we are now on the short end of the deal here. Is that just too difficult to understand. What would we loose? Oh yeah maybe the trade deficit that is and has been giving everyone our jobs around the world, especially military building, self serving, communist China, where their growth rate has been double digit for years on end as their people get up every morning to go make us our goods that our people can not do and are not going to work to produce what we consume, and at the same time they are making our products, so do they make the goods they themselves consume.

Even trade should be the objective and that only should go for countries that are our friends and do not work against our values, that would leave China completely out , as it should be!

And to add,, it is not just the cheap labor, but other factors as well that makes production in other countries more profitable, such as pollution regulations and costs, along with workers rights, hospitalization, pension funds, all together makes it a very uneven playing field and if there are not concessions in any of these matters, we will only stay where we are economically.

If materials is not available here in the US for infrastructure to take place then maybe Obama's administration is starting in the wrong place and should concentrate on manufacturing jobs that would directly affect our massive trade deficit we have and there for take action on this before anything else and concentrate on evening up the field on trade which has taken our manufacturing jobs out of the country.

I have read the figures about how many jobs would be created by this “Buy American “ BS and I find the numbers way way below the truth. Not only manufacturing jobs would be created, but everything down the line would go up in production as for added man power, such as raw material production, increasing transport of, equipment needed and so on and so on which all leads to more people working. I believe we are hearing all bullshit about the job creation numbers and it is all coming from those that have and still are destroying our economic base and are promoting large corporate wealth from the continual production of products overseas, and the sad thing about it is, that they have so many believing their sick minded ways and their self greed!.

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Fact is, if we had no trade we would be ahead 700 billion dollars

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Dems aren't protecting jobs, they are protecting votes and special interest groups.

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isn't everybody sure for sure that it isnt 'buy Chinese'? besides the moot point, everything in our country is Chinese anyway.

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Obama is elected by American voters. He only needs to concern about US economy and welfare of citizens. If not his election promises were just a sugar coated words. At the moment, US industries and banks are collapsing. Once mighty US banks are kneeling and begging for cash injection. Countless people lost the jobs and homes. Government has huge trade and budget deficits. Foreign debts like a mount everest. What more US can afford to lose?

Who care about trade wars? It is not about pleasing any of the trading partners. Beside that US has been largest consumer in the world. It was an engine of the world growth. NAFTA was only good for Canada and Mexico with the expense of the low skilled American workers. Now they are enjoying cross border bargain shopping in the states.

In the reality protectionism works and free market failed. This stimulus package can not be failed. It it is failed, it will be a disaster like end of the world. Obama needs to say like Bush as The course of that nation is not depending on others.

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Athletes, I tend to agree. This is really all for show. To let the world know that this new president is nothing like the previous one who accepted blame for everything. Face it, everyone knows you don't have to put "buy American" in writing... you just do it when it comes time to award contracts. I must say it is an interesting approach as once again Obama clearly declares "an America for Americans". Nothing wrong with that now is there.

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Who profits from the US trade deficit, everyone else!

Now why are all these countries against the US becoming protectionist?

Will Obama kneel to these countries and at the same time forget his own? This has been going on for many years now. It is time for it to end and think of the US and put the US first instead of just giving everything away. Of course these large corporations have loved every minute of it, but as Obama has said, He own none nothing, but the problem is.. everyone else in the political circle does owe others.

I believe he may be going in with the rightous intent, but I believe also there will be great limitations to what can be done and especially what can be changed when there are politicians in the house and senate that have their own commitments to outside sources.

We need to be manufacturers again and to produce the products we need and use, and say the hell with what these other countries that benefit off of our despair have to say.

How could our leaders have let this go on for so long to bring us to this point of everyone looking for China, the communist country we can take credit for building as being the world leader of the future and still the words out of Europe shows support for this notion.. Just as they are supporting such a future for China being the dominate force economically as well as militarily . I can not believe it!

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