Friday, February 13, 2009

Why a & Buy American Clause is a Good Idea!! God damn it!

Last month, we noted that the steel industry was lobbying to make sure that a “Buy American” clause was included in the legislation for the stimulus package that we hope will turn the tide of the faltering U.S. economy. Although everyone is not in favor of such a clause, we can give you a few reasons why it is a good idea.

  • 1. It only makes sense for us to buy from our own companies, employ our own people and put some money back into our own coffers.
  • 2. “Buy American” clauses are not new. There is speculation that such a protectionist measure will ignite a trade war. Why is that when we have had such polices dating back decades into the last century. The idea of a nation trying to help its own industries is certainly no new.

3. If we continue to falter, we can be of no help to anyone else. There is a lot of concern that looking out for our own interests will anger other nations. Um…as we strengthen our own economy, we will be able to do more and buy more from around the world. There is a reason that the emergency instructions on a plane tell you to put your own mask on first. You are not good to anyone if you are passed out. And we cannot do much for other countries if our finances are out of order.

Although, as we mentioned. “Buy American”" requirement have existed for years, this latest “Buy American” language specifically applies to projects that are enacted as part of the stimulus bill. Plus, as the Associated Press just reported yesterday, there is threshold: there is a waiver of the “Buy American” provision when buying stateside would increase project expenses by more than 25 percent. So as you can see the “Buy American” clause does have its limits.

Perhaps the opponents of the clause have not fully grasped just how serious the situation is here. People in this country need jobs and they needed them yesterday. While we certainly do not want to upset anyone, no one will take care of America like America. The rest of the world certainly is not going to shy away from doing what is necessary to protect their economy. Why should we?

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