I saw this over at Vulcan's Hammer and started giving it some thought.
How to piss off our friendsSo I hopped over to read the BBC article.
Europeans are not very happy about the "Buy American" clause in the current stimulus bill:
The EU and Canadian ambassadors to Washington have already warned that the clause could promote protectionism and trigger retaliatory moves.
What do I find? This:
The clause seeks to ensure that only US iron, steel and manufactured goods are used in projects funded by the bill.
A European Commission spokesman said it was the "worst possible signal".
However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said President Obama had assured her the US would not follow protectionist policies.
Hmmm well right before the Great Depression there was this bill called the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. It "raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels. In the United States 1,028 economists signed a petition against this legislation, and after it was passed, many countries retaliated with their own increased tariffs on U.S. goods, and American exports and imports plunged by more than half. In the opinion of some economists, the Smoot-Hawley Act was a catalyst for the severe reduction in U.S.-European trade from its high in 1929 to its depressed levels of 1932 that accompanied the start of the Great Depression."(Via Wiki)
So ... we're going to try this again? Or at the least we are going to try a version of this again. This is completely asinine. It is completely out of bounds. Hell even Greenspan thinks Protectionism is a bad policy:
Protectionism will do little to create jobs and if foreigners retaliate, we will surely lose jobs.When will the political parasites in DC wake up? Will they wake up if we stir them from their complacency?
- Alan Greenspan