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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Buy American Buffoonery

Politicians never cease to amaze me and the latest crew in The House is no different. Somebody was bamboozled into thinking that we need to start a trade war at the beginning of an economic recession and slipped in a “Buy American” only requirement into the stimulus package. Pardon me but I am about to go super nova with rage over this issue since none of these morons has looked at the world economy that is just as much dependent on the American economy as our industrial base is reliant on them!

Over at the New York Times they had this simple and eloquent explanation as to why a “Buy American” stance is idiotic and should be scratched out of the stimulus package in the Senate…

Op-Ed Contributor
If We Buy American, No One Else Will

Published: January 31, 2009
Hanover, N.H.

WORLD trade is collapsing. The United States trade deficit dropped sharply in November as imports from the rest of the world plummeted in response to the financial crisis and global recession. United States imports from China, Japan and elsewhere declined at double digit rates. The last thing the world economy needs is for governments to give a further downward shove to trade. Unfortunately, we may be doing just that.

Steel industry lobbyists seem to have persuaded the House to insert a “Buy American” provision in the stimulus bill it passed last week. This provision requires that preference be given to domestic steel producers in building contracts and other spending. The House bill also requires that the uniforms and other textiles used by the Transportation Security Administration be produced in the United States, and the Senate may broaden such provisions to include many other products.


Remember the golden rule, or the consequences could be severe. When the United States imposed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930, it helped set off a worldwide movement toward higher tariffs. When everyone tried to restrict imports, the combined effect was a deeper global economic slump. - New York Times

I’ve worked my entire life in the manufacturing sector where goods are produced here in the USA and shipped all over the world. Most of them are shipped to other manufacturers here in the United States that then sell some of their finished products overseas. Those overseas companies look for replacement parts sometime down the road that are technically specified on drawings of the product of who and where to buy those parts from and what do you know, it points back to the United States for a high tech gadget used in India, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, South Africa, Japan, China, Australia and the list goes on.

Manufacturers here in the United States that have survived the China Syndrome, and the India Technical Revolution have learned how to compete, beat, and sometimes buy into the companies in those nations in order to stay in business. Our American manufacturing businesses has survived and prospered because it was compete or close shop. Something the people in our government, apparently more so in The House, that could never understand even in the simplest of terms.

Needless to say, we now live in a world economy where companies owned in say Japan, have multiple manufacturing facilities all across America. Hint, hint, hint, AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY Speaker Pelosi!!! American companies also own manufacturing facilities all over the world too now!

Smucks! Now if we want to discuss fair trade then that is another subject for another post…


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Anonymous Kenny Hatcher said...

I am going to have to disagree with you. Prime example, Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart moves into a town, sells cheap stuff from other countries, and causes local business to close. Local business who were paying and treating their employees better than Wal-Mart.

Oil is not the only resource that we need to end our dependency on. There needs to be a reinvestment from the American people on goods produced here. We need to stop buying everything from other countries just because it is cheaper. Our culture has prized fast, easy, and cheap for too long, and it has caused this problem. A re-focus of quality and business values needs to occur. We have become a fat lazy spoiled child and this economic down turn is our spanking.

I was reading articles at about how if we had supported products made here then we would not be in much of this mess. People would still have jobs that are now in India, and if people still had their jobs they could afford their bills.

Yes things do cost a little more if they are made here, but think of it as supporting the home team. Most of us do not seem to mind paying $8.00 for a hot dog at the ball park, even though you can get at Wal-Mart. So support the American home team a little more now and I believe it will help us all in the future.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...


I would put Walmart in the abuse of trade category both here at home and abroad. Scumbags!!! I've railed against the unfair trade practices they revel in many times here. Sam must be doing 360's in his grave.

Unfortunately, we are in a world economy now and many of the businesses we have in every town are dealing with customers and vendors all over the world. Do I like it, no, can I stop it, no. The free markets will always find the cheapest source because the difference is always money in their own pockets that is saved.

Thank you for commenting Kenny and I look forward to seeing your thoughts on other topics here at Papamoka.

2:50 PM  

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