Smells like Smoot-Hawley

posted at 12:09 pm on January 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

As if the Democratic Porkfest Bill didn’t do enough damage on its own to the long-term prospects for the American economy, the Washington Post reports that it could set off a trade war that would bring the global economy crashing, too.  Democratic protectionists loaded up the bill with “Buy American” clauses that shut out foreign producers of steel and iron.  Just as in the Depression, however, that will force other nations to close their markets — which will virtually recreate the Smoot-Hawley fiasco that made the Depression exponentially worse:

The stimulus bill passed by the House last night contains a controversial provision that would mostly bar foreign steel and iron from the infrastructure projects laid out by the $819 billion economic package.

A Senate version, yet to be acted upon, goes further, requiring, with few exceptions, that all stimulus-funded projects use only American-made equipment and goods.

Proponents of expanding the “Buy American” provisions enacted during the Great Depression, including steel and iron manufacturers and labor unions, argue that it is the only way to ensure that the stimulus creates jobs at home and not overseas.

Opponents, including some of the biggest blue-chip names in American industry, say it amounts to a declaration of war against free trade. That, they say, could spark retaliation from abroad against U.S. companies and exacerbate the global financial crisis.

This is the end result of the protectionist rhetoric of the Democratic campaign in 2008.  And it’s not hard to see why they pursue it.  Buy American is a slogan that practically guarantees popularity.  What could be more patriotic than looking for the Made in the USA label, especially when taxpayer dollars are on the line?

Nothing, if you don’t mind killing the entire American export sector.  We already have large trade deficits, thanks to our massive wealth transfers each year to oil-producing nations based on our unwillingness to pump our own crude.  If we touch off a trade war, which this will almost certainly do as it violates all of our WTO and bilateral trade agreements, other markets will close their doors to American products, such as cars and technology.  Instead of closing our trade gap, we will explode it, and even those oil imports could get retaliatory tariffs from our two closest trading partners, Canada and Mexico, our two largest foreign suppliers of crude.

We have done this before, and under worse circumstances, which is why this such sheer folly.  The Smoot-Hawley tariff act turned a severe but recoverable recession and turned it into a generational depression.  Instead of working cooperatively, the major trading nations had to respond to American penalties with more penalties, and the Buy American provisions of the New Deal entrenched those divisions, making recovery impossible.   The rest of the world — Europe, Asia, Latin America — would likely shut out the US and trade amongst themselves, and we would lose decades of work in building American economic strength abroad.

America doesn’t need a trade war at this moment in time.  We need to ensure our access to as many foreign markets as possible.  Protectionism now will take us down a primrose path that we have traveled before, and the end result will be bread lines and 25% unemployment, and worldwide misery.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I try to buy American whenever I’m out, but to make it an official government policy is not smart.

BadgerHawk on January 29, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Me too & me too.

Face it folks, totaly free trade is not the answer, just as no trade is not the answer…. we need somthing in the middle..

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 12:21 PM

It’s true.
You all know how I feel about American food-to me it’s a SAFETY issue. I’m sure other products also have the same issues (i.e. melamine tainted products from China).

Protectionism, however, is suicide.
We need a healthy balance in between.
I don’t buy ALL American products, bcs that’s impossible. But I try really hard to support allied country’s products as well as our own.
It’s the little things that add up.
Unfortunately, with all these multinationalist companies owning gazillions of brands, in actuality we probably don’t make much of a dent doing this.
They have a monopoly on everything from fruit juice to toothpaste & everything in between.
Something’s gotta be done about that.

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:35 PM

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:28 PM

LOL… you want eternal answers when we have no idea how the Technology will change?

We don’t need perfect… we need good enough for now… because someone WILL find somthing better, and then the market will go for that.

Problem is that you can’t, by Government fiat, DICTATE what that better solution will be…

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Protectionism = economic inbreeding

whitetop on January 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Given the choice between passing the buck 500 years and not passing it at all, id choose to not pass it. But im a radical when it comes to this, and I understand that. Im firm in my belief that exponential technological advance on all fronts is a primary purpose of government structures in this day and age. Id take every farm subsidy, every welfare check, every foreign aid check, every piece of frivolous spending we have and put it directly into university teams working on everything under the sun…its just who I am and how I see our purpose here.

Sure the market works well for certain things, but the market didnt get us to the moon. The market didnt come up with the internet, and quite frankly, market forces acting in that realm seem to just screw everything up (patent bs, tiered rates, DRM, proprietary this that and the other thing). This high technology realm, under which i include energy, plays by a different set of rules.

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Wind Power is stupid (only works when the wind blows, which means you need another whole set of infrastructure to produce power when it is not blowing).

Solar may be good someday, but aint there yet.

And yet, the Gov is forcing these two solutions down the economys throat…

I say let the market decide… let Scientists and Engineers have the time to work out the Technology… make it economical FIRST…

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Ahh & you indirectly bring upo another point on the ‘green’ issue.
To MAKE the technology to go green requires ‘un-green’ practices. You gotta have industry to make the batteries & the wires & the metal-thingy-madoodles that all that infrastructure needs (like mining for Germanium!).
So in the end, are we really being ‘green’ at all?

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM

they want a depression, and blame it on Hoover again(Bush) which the MSM will do for them. Then they get to do the “new New Deal” and “Economic Bill of Rights” b.s.

jp on January 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Protectionism = economic inbreeding

whitetop on January 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM

I like it!

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM

LOL… you want eternal answers when we have no idea how the Technology will change?

We don’t need perfect… we need good enough for now… because someone WILL find somthing better, and then the market will go for that.

Problem is that you can’t, by Government fiat, DICTATE what that better solution will be…

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Good point. What if someone figures out fusion next week, and energy production suddenly becomes a matter of producing palladium and heavy water?
Won’t those wind farms look silly?

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Id take every farm subsidy, every welfare check, every foreign aid check, every piece of frivolous spending we have and put it directly into university teams working on everything under the sun…its just who I am and how I see our purpose here.

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM

BTW-70% + of all Farm Bills are food programs like WIC & Food Stamps?
Very little of it goes to ‘farmers’. The only ‘farmer’ that really cash in off the govt are agribusiness companies & rich hobby framers like Ted Turner.

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:41 PM

ugh-my spelling is horrible.

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

Amazingly, Democrats RUN the History departments at the universities and they STILL don’t get it.

BKennedy on January 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Though they’re running history departments, the problem is that they spend all their time revising history.

BuckeyeSam on January 29, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Well wont u look at that, i mentioned welfare checks RIGHT AFTER farm subsidies. its all frivolous in my eyes, we need to be going to the stars and figuring out fusion power…none of this more corn for america bs

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Good point. What if someone figures out fusion next week, and energy production suddenly becomes a matter of producing palladium and heavy water?
Won’t those wind farms look silly?

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

How about Nikola Tesla’s legendary (perhaps mythical?-what you say tin-foil hat people?) energy ‘towers’ that are supposed to harvest energy from the ionosphere is it?
Hmmm….

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Won’t those wind farms look silly?

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I had an idea for a book; Somebody fulfills every environmentalists wet dream – cheap, clean, abundant energy, from a source everyone could own and power their own homes….the ultimate generator. It destroyed the economy.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Im firm in my belief that exponential technological advance on all fronts is a primary purpose of government structures in this day and age. Id take every farm subsidy, every welfare check, every foreign aid check, every piece of frivolous spending we have and put it directly into university teams working on everything under the sun…its just who I am and how I see our purpose here.

Sure the market works well for certain things, but the market didnt get us to the moon. The market didnt come up with the internet, and quite frankly, market forces acting in that realm seem to just screw everything up (patent bs, tiered rates, DRM, proprietary this that and the other thing). This high technology realm, under which i include energy, plays by a different set of rules.

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM

?
Are you even paying attention to what you are writing?
…and that is besides the fact that government exists to protect our rights. Technology is big business now-a-days. Sure, astronomy and sub atomic physics would be slow going without government subsidies, but the useful stuff would be supported–because it is profitable.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 1:45 PM

If we can focus on the practical for a moment, where are the enforcement mechanisms for this provision? How many people even know what government project accounting systems look like? Feds give money to states, who issue RFPs and hire contractors to do work. The Feds generally aren’t even in a position to audit for compliance with rules like this. The states flip through the offerors’ reps and certs, which will have checkmarks next to this under “clauses incorporated by reference,” and never give it a second thought.

Not saying that justifies the provision, not at all. In fact, it makes the whole thing look worse. This thing is a firehose without a water meter attached.

DrSteve on January 29, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Oh man these guys are idiots..

but remeber their all educated at harvard..
or yale or whatever leftist college they atttended

So obviously little things like trade wars dont even factor into the equasion..

Morons absolute frigging morons..
but hey its not even week 2 yet for obama
lets see how much more he could screw up..

jcila on January 29, 2009 at 1:47 PM

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Uh, as someone directly invovled with the evolution of the internet… it was ALL industry.

Yes the government initialy funded some limited research… but there was no great Governmental Master Plan…

It was an Army of Davids who created the net, not Al Gore… and it was industry who built the entire infrastructure the Net uses… not the Gov.

And they built it because they could MAKE MONEY OFF IT!!! The Net is a prime example of what we can do when the Government gets the heck out of the way! It was a new technology that outstripped their ability to regulate it… which is why it was such a success.

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM

I had an idea for a book; Somebody fulfills every environmentalists wet dream – cheap, clean, abundant energy, from a source everyone could own and power their own homes….the ultimate generator. It destroyed the economy.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 1:45 PM

…of OPEC states.
Seriously, few things could boost the US economy more.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Well would you look at this ernesto-I’m only mentioning it bcs I live in farm/ranch country & most of these people getting subsidies around here are only doing so to remain in the business.
The govt has made it nigh impossible to make a living out of it & they have been doing the same thing to ranching.
The govt needs to stop putting price controls etc on food produced here & let you all suck it up by maybe paying a higher price for what you eat.
Things would eventually even out & the most productive of us would stay in business.
It would also be nice if the govt would start enforcing some of their laws, like the Stockyard & Packers Act.
Different rules for pork producers, different rules for dairy producers (see the talk about the buyout coming there?!), different rules for sheep producers, different rules for beef producers & the list goes on.
As for ranching-we don’t farm & we don’t take subsidies. But bcs some of our ag loans are govt backed, watchdog databases have us listed as being ‘on the take’ from the govt.
So if the govt gets rid of the ag subsidies, expect the price of food to skyrocket.

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM

thank you for the post!! this is ANOTHER item in this bill that MUST be removed

China has a huge stimulus also, CAT would like to sell their machinery to China too! The EU steel iron makers have already demanded similar provisions in their stimulus as a result of this…

also China is buying all the Treasuries we are issuing to send out the giant pork filled stimulus wealth transfers..if we pixx off China they can stop buying our T Bills

how dopey are these folks? this is NOT the moderate Clinton philosophy he ran on with Wall St all of whom supported Obama over HRC…

ginaswo on January 29, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Maybe somewhat off-topic, but we also may have issues on the currency front. China is expressing frustration with our new Treasury Secretary over comments about “currency manipulation.”

I’m not sure what the right answers are. My fear is that Obama & Co. don’t either.

cs89 on January 29, 2009 at 1:58 PM

ernesto: Are you aware of the huge natural gas reserves in our nation, running from New York through Appalachia to Kentucky? This natural resource has the capability of powering us for a long, long time?

onlineanalyst on January 29, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Internationally, subsidies have much the same effect as tariffs. It would be nice if we had a good mechanism for getting rid of all of them at once.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Internationally, subsidies have much the same effect as tariffs. It would be nice if we had a good mechanism for getting rid of all of them at once.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 2:00 PM

I wholeheartedly agree! That is why we find it hard to compete with imports.
We American beef producers are confident that on a level playing field, ours IS the best product available.
But bcs of unfair practices by other govts & ours as well, we can’t seem to let anyone in on that fine secret.
Our own USDA is screwing us over COOL (Country Of Origin Labeling). All we wanted was for people to know where the beef they were eating came from.
You know where your pork & lamb comes from & your seafood & your fruits & veggies-but WHY can’t you find a definite label for your beef?!
I want to pull my hair out.
Especially since the govt forces me to pay a Beef Checkoff dollar for every animal I sell & I don’t even get a say in how they use it!

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Didn’t these people learn anything from the last Depression? I thought the protectionism was one of the things that stifled our recovery — it took a war (and the resulting droppage of protectionism in response to badly needed war materiel) to really shake things loose.

I’m certainly wondering what “Made in the USA” means these days, since cars and airplanes “Made in the USA” have significant foreign content.

unclesmrgol on January 29, 2009 at 2:07 PM

It’s happening fast. :(

baldilocks on January 29, 2009 at 2:10 PM

also China is buying all the Treasuries we are issuing to send out the giant pork filled stimulus wealth transfers..if we pixx off China they can stop buying our T Bills

ginaswo on January 29, 2009 at 1:52 PM

You haven’t heard? NPR just said that the Fed will be buying up T-bills. There’s something really circular here, which says that we really do need a Bank of the United States, and it needs to be run by Treasury; then, none of this buying up Peter to pay Peter would be happening.

unclesmrgol on January 29, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Seriously, few things could boost the US economy more.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM

No. Our economy. My concept was that by undermining the petrochemical lifeblood of our energy infrastructure, we shrank demand to a point where it was no longer economically viable to maintain our oil & gas production/transportation industry. Cost of fuel rose exponentially, thus did consumer prices….you get the picture….

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

I’m certainly wondering what “Made in the USA” means these days, since cars and airplanes “Made in the USA” have significant foreign content.

unclesmrgol on January 29, 2009 at 2:07 PM

That’s why labeling laws are important to those of us producing a product.

Now I don’t know if it’s TRUE, but I had a friend tell me that when they worked at a Wal Mart distribution center in OH for a couple of months they were told to stick “Made in The USA” stickers on products in from China.
Hmmmm……

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

A lot of this “Made In America” enthusiasm is jingoistic claptrap.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:19 PM

No. Our economy. My concept was that by undermining the petrochemical lifeblood of our energy infrastructure, we shrank demand to a point where it was no longer economically viable to maintain our oil & gas production/transportation industry. Cost of fuel rose exponentially, thus did consumer prices….you get the picture….

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

You’re not making any sense. If demand dries up, its because there is no need for it–all the consumer prices become disconnected. Besides, there would still be brisk business in plastics, which would be cheaper because oil would be cheaper.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 2:25 PM

A lot of this “Made In America” enthusiasm is jingoistic claptrap.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Plays well in Peoria.

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I like the idea of funding fundamental research in theory, but I’ve yet to see it managed terribly well in practice. Government bureaucratic structures are notoriously bad at dealing with technology.

TheUnrepentantGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:26 PM

A lot of this “Made In America” enthusiasm is jingoistic claptrap.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Unless you happen to be one of those folks who fed your precious poopy pooch melamine tainted dog food from China.

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 2:28 PM

or toothpaste…

or Toys with high lead..

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 2:28 PM

That did indeed suck very badly.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 2:25 PM

It’s just a kernel of an idea for a story, not a topic for debate.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:37 PM

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I disagree with the about the Made In America- being strictly jingoistic, look it is self sufficiency. An Industrial Base along with an Agricultural Base ect is a necessity….right now in Monrovia, Liberia the locals are paying $4.00 a can for fruit cocktail…why? they don’t grow a lot of their own produce it has to be imported. Of course what does get imported sits on a ship in the harbor, and the folks have to bribe officials to get it off making it even more expensive. Another example is Zimbabwe, they used to grow their own “The Jewel Of Africa” right now they have out of sight inflation, and nothing on the store shelves if they wanted to buy something with their wheel barrows full of currency.

To some degree America needs to keep intact a Base, to provide goods to their Citizens. There is sound reasons to buy American.

Dr Evil on January 29, 2009 at 2:48 PM

If the Al Gore testimony re energy is still on the table for this discussion, check out this article about the fool’s false information about solar power and his equally misinformed remarks re nuclear energy: http://spectator.org/archives/2009/01/29/his-winter-of-discontent

I guess Gore doesn’t stand to profit with alternatives that he doesn’t recommend. His fanboy Kerry, another dimwit, hasn’t a clue about energy production.

onlineanalyst on January 29, 2009 at 2:52 PM

As for ranching-we don’t farm & we don’t take subsidies. But bcs some of our ag loans are govt backed, watchdog databases have us listed as being ‘on the take’ from the govt.
So if the govt gets rid of the ag subsidies, expect the price of food to skyrocket.

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Most of the price of food at the retail level goes to the retailers, transportation, and wholesalers–not much to the growers or ranchers. Take out the ag subsidies, the price from the farm might double, but retail food prices might rise 5% or 10%.

But it is true that the government throwing money at farmers to control prices is stupid–what consumers are saving, government is taking more in taxes. Let the market decide, and the farmers with the best land and/or farming practices will make the most money, and the U.S. still exports lots of food.

If the Democrats try to impose a new Smoot-Hawley tariff, other countries will impose tariffs on American food, and where will farmers sell their surplus production?

Steve Z on January 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

It’s just a kernel of an idea for a story, not a topic for debate.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Oh. Um, thinking comedy? Slapstick?

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Dr Evil on January 29, 2009 at 2:48 PM

That is a problem of a lack of property rights and the rule of law, not the absence of protectionist tariffs. Self sufficiency is only an issue for dictatorships and command economies–in the US, we adapt, and things get done.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 3:03 PM


n the US, we adapt, and things get done.

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 3:03 PM

in The Words of Our New President “Things are Going to Change”

Go ahead get in front for the bread line now.

Dr Evil on January 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Protectionism makes sense. America produces, or has the capability to produce, the best, most highly advanced products in the world. Why should we enrich and enable the communist dictatorship of China, or any other country when we can produce the same products here? America got powerful by producing goods and selling them to its citizens. Now America no longer produces much and instead buys everything abroad.

Instead of employing people in factories, we are employing people in the financial industry who spend all day trading money in the temple.

keep the change on January 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Oh. Um, thinking comedy? Slapstick?

Count to 10 on January 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

No.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM

If aid to Arab countries was classified as “pork”, would they accept it?

labrat on January 29, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Smells worse than that stinky french cheese.

Mr. Joe on January 29, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Regulate Industry + force Americans to buy American = MORE POWER FOR THE LIBS/UNIONS

marklmail on January 29, 2009 at 4:45 PM

“Made in America”
It is amazing how Patriotic liberals get when it concerns money.

Where was this patriotism when they were hailing people like Micheal Moore and every hollywood star that called Americans stupid,racist,and imperialistic.

Where was all this patriotism from democrats when they were taking money from the code pinks,move ons,and Answers that called our Soldiers murderers,rapist,and child predators while they vandalized our recruiting centers and held rallies calling for the deaths of our President and Vice President.

It nice to know now that all they had to do was join a union and then they could be “American” again.

Isolationism was a total failure in the 20′s/30′s and would be a disaster now.
The democrats passed NAFTA in the 90′s then want to tell us today that we don’t need free trade.
absolute idiots.

Terrorism,Global warming,gun bans,throwing money at failed education practices,Spending/raising taxes during a recession…….democrats are failures on every front,Domestic and internationally.

Baxter Greene on January 29, 2009 at 5:17 PM

how on earth will they do all that IT work with only American components? And what do they mean “American”, anyway? If it’s a US-based company that does production overseas, does that count? Or do the facilities have to be in the US (so Toyota & Honda could count?). What about products assembled in the US from components that are made overseas?

Outside of Washington, there’s what’s known as a “global economy”. That generally means that it’s difficult to characterize a product as “American” or “Japanese”.

hawksruleva on January 29, 2009 at 5:19 PM

To liberals, “Made in America” means “made by a union”, which can be further translated to “made by a Democrat voter”.

That’s their real intent.

hawksruleva on January 29, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Instead of employing people in factories, we are employing people in the financial industry who spend all day trading money in the temple.

keep the change on January 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Good one!

The democrats passed NAFTA in the 90’s then want to tell us today that we don’t need free trade.
absolute idiots.

Terrorism,Global warming,gun bans,throwing money at failed education practices,Spending/raising taxes during a recession…….democrats are failures on every front,Domestic and internationally.

Baxter Greene on January 29, 2009 at 5:17 PM

NAFTA was a disaster for rural America, as well as other sectors.

Badger40 on January 29, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Oil … It is a finite resource

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Please tell me you know where oil comes from. I cannot understand how anyone can claim it is finite after they realize how it’s made. Makes no sense.

…there is a serious lack of planning on concervatives part for an era without oil.

ernesto on January 29, 2009 at 1:25 PM

There is also a serious lack of profit motive for any business to replace the most abundant, most efficient, and easiest extractable energy source on the planet. Until something is discovered that replaces the three variables mentioned in previous sentence, there won’t be a market for anything else.

One thing there is a lack of planning on from the conservative side is an era which abandons free market principles in favor of collectivism. I don’t see that as a negative.

anuts on January 29, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Dr. Evil: “To some degree America needs to keep intact a Base, to provide goods to their Citizens. There is sound reasons to buy American.”

The only sound reason to buy American is when it’s better and cheaper. Otherwise, it’s best to allow Americans to produce the goods and services we do best instead of subsidizing the goods and services we do worst by passing laws that protect them. Enforcing a Buy America law is a sure way to make every American product into crap by removing the competition. You increase the quality of your team by competing with other teams, not by playing with yourself.

Tantor on January 29, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Do the sponsors of this assume the WTO will overturn it so they can get the popular approval but not suffer the consequences? If not they must be economically naive Hugo Chavez class.

KW64 on January 29, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Tantor on January 29, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Nice sentiment, if it was a level playing field. Problem is that it is not.

Our own laws and mandates make it more expensive to produce here. In some cases, like oil, our own laws outright STOP us from drilling in many areas.

Add in foreign Govs who play the system, and our manufacturers are at a huge economic disadvantage.

It amuses me that if American companies attempted to organize into an OPEC group, we would send their CEOs to jail for price fixing… and yet we won’t do anything against OPEC, even to the point of helping our own energy companies.

Its NOT a level playing field… we only enforce our draconian rules upon ourselves… which is making us loose in the Worlds marketplace.

Romeo13 on January 29, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Why are liberals only Pro-Choice when it comes to possibly killing a baby–

Any other time they want to take all the choices away…usually leaving you with the worst one—

alecj on January 29, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Oh dear Gawd, Biden gave an interview to an NBC reporter Harwood and CNBC aired it

highlights on China from Reuters

Yes, the VP alone with a reporter talking about China, our banker, oh noes!!!

The United States will insist China play by international trade rules, but will not move unilaterally to keep out China’s exports, Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

“The policy of this administration is to say to China — which occasionally the last administration was reluctant to do — ‘you’re a major player on the world scene economically and you’ve got to play by the rules that everybody else plays by,’” Biden said in an interview on CNBC.

So we’re going to be, in that sense, blunter with the Chinese about ‘you’re in the deal, you play by the rules,’” Biden said.

Oh good, Biden will be MORE blunt with China!! Gawd Save Us..

ginaswo on January 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Government bureaucratic structures are notoriously bad at dealing with technology.

Because the government is filled with people who not only understand science and technology, but their vast experience in the private sector makes them uniquely qualified to determine what the market place will support.

/sarc

Ann NY on January 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

When you limit suppliers, and introduce a big spender like the US government, all you get is higher prices.

How does that help anyone but the suppliers?

BVM on January 29, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Protectionism, trade war, call it what you like but this is exactly what they warned us about an Obama administration and congress dominated by a Democrat Party heavily influenced by labor unions. This is yet another opening salvo in what is yet to come and mark my word: it will get worse.

There are already some rumblings from China (Geithner and his comments on monetary manipulation) and Russia. Other countries should be sure to follow as this administration continues on this awkward path.

Sure enough the EU is already sending a warning:

http://tinyurl.com/ccx2gq

Just as predicted.

Mr Gus on January 29, 2009 at 6:49 PM

“Made in America”
It is amazing how Patriotic liberals get when it concerns money.

Don’t worry, the “tax credits” of $500 – $1,000 to low-income earners provided for in the “stimulus” bill (otherwise known as welfare payments) are going to anybody with a TIN (taxpayer identification number) — no valid SS number required. So lots of your money will still be going to foreigners (i.e. illegal aliens).

Democrats are all for keeping their massive deficit spending here in the U.S. — except when it might upset one of the special interest groups in their voting base.

AZCoyote on January 29, 2009 at 7:06 PM

The USA is sitting on the biggest pool of oil in the world and congress says leave it there we’ll buy our oil from other countries. Do you think we have a bunch wing nuts running the energy of the USA? Bush tried to get the drilling through congress and failed because of the environment people blocking the drilling. Are we represented in Washington? I don’t think so. What planet are these reps. from?

mixplix on January 29, 2009 at 7:14 PM


We have done this before, and under worse circumstances,


I don’t think it was under worse circumstances. We need to realize that we are in the begginning throes of a global economic depression that is going to make the “Great Depression” seem micro-small by comparison.

paulsur on January 29, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Google “untapped oil reserves” look up the BAKKEN formation. This info is out there.

mixplix on January 29, 2009 at 7:23 PM

I don’t think it was under worse circumstances. We need to realize that we are in the begginning throes of a global economic depression that is going to make the “Great Depression” seem micro-small by comparison.

paulsur on January 29, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Only if the government gets in the way.

Johan Klaus on January 29, 2009 at 7:26 PM

Stupid question here. If this crap passes, and countries begin closing their doors to US trade – will that include the arts, like – movies? I know France and some other countries try real hard to prop up their own film industries, but they are still dominated by Hollywood. Would an international trade war keep Hollywood movies out? Cause that would be kind of funny…I want to see the recession/depression begin to have tangible effects on Hollywood. I want to see the stars who made that horrificly stupid Pledge video see their paychecks dry up, I want to see them have to lay off assistants, fly first class instead of private, find they can’t afford to shop as much. I want to see them suffer.

does that make me a bad person?

stubbylibrarian on January 29, 2009 at 7:44 PM

I don’t think it was under worse circumstances. We need to realize that we are in the begginning throes of a global economic depression that is going to make the “Great Depression” seem micro-small by comparison.

paulsur on January 29, 2009 at 7:19 PM

I don’t know. Granted it’s still in the initial stages, but at this point I think the economy has contracted at about .5%. At the height of the GD, I believe it had shrunk approximately 30%. All from (sometimes shoddy) memory, so the numbers may be a little off. Inside ballpark for sure though.

anuts on January 29, 2009 at 8:38 PM

stubbylibrarian on January 29, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Imagine…Alec Baldwin knocking on your door and yelling “DOMINOS!”

That, alone, is worth causing a depression.

BobMbx on January 29, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Nothing, if you don’t mind killing the entire American export sector.

Should read: Nothing, if you don’t mind killing the entire American export sector and screwing the American consumer on price and quality.

burt on January 29, 2009 at 9:13 PM

Part of me wants the democrats to succeed because it will be the little people they care soooooooo much for and keep voting for them that get hurt the worst. Not that it will change their gullible minds but it will make me feel better knowing they are hurting more now than before.

jukin on January 29, 2009 at 9:48 PM

Yeah, the Dems are going to bring back our good reputation with our friends around the world – by starting a trade war with them.

(HEADDESK)

Merovign on January 29, 2009 at 11:04 PM

Stupid question here. If this crap passes, and countries begin closing their doors to US trade – will that include the arts, like – movies? I know France and some other countries try real hard to prop up their own film industries, but they are still dominated by Hollywood. Would an international trade war keep Hollywood movies out? Cause that would be kind of funny…I want to see the recession/depression begin to have tangible effects on Hollywood. I want to see the stars who made that horrificly stupid Pledge video see their paychecks dry up, I want to see them have to lay off assistants, fly first class instead of private, find they can’t afford to shop as much. I want to see them suffer.

does that make me a bad person?

stubbylibrarian on January 29, 2009 at 7:44 PM

You’re not a bad person. You’re one of the people that can make every nitwit in that Pledge video look back and remember it as the day his career ended. All you have to do is stay away from the theaters, and convince a few friends to join you. It should become increasingly easy to do, after a couple years of Obamanomics. The voters, as a class, don’t like to admit they made a mistake, but they might begin to nurse a quiet anger at the people who fooled them into voting this horror show into office. Plus, they won’t be able to afford movie tickets, and the theaters will be dark from the rolling blackouts anyway.

Interesting that Hollywood, government service, and tyrannical despotism are the only three occupations that can earn gigantic amounts of money without the slightest criticism from liberals. It’s because they love the romantic notion of a ruling class, which deserves to be rewarded for its commitment to The People. They’re just better than you.

The same liberal who pulses with rage at the income of “fat cat executives” can flip on the TV and purr with awe and pride as he gets a guided tour through the palatial estate of a Dixie Chick. When you point out that someone like Al Gore is a sickening hypocrite for preaching self-imposed poverty to Americans while he tools around in private jets, the liberal is honestly puzzled by your statement.

Doctor Zero on January 29, 2009 at 11:43 PM

Obviously the dip$hits slept through US History.

Oink on January 29, 2009 at 12:13 PM

FIFY

chunderroad on January 30, 2009 at 12:05 AM

Oh good, Biden will be MORE blunt with China!! Gawd Save Us..

ginaswo on January 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Currency trading has always interested me. I came across this blog:

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article8436.html

Next week’s Global Economic Forum in the ski slopes of Davos should prove as a warm-up exercise for GBP-related chatter, speculation and verbal and intervention, leading to the Feb 14 G7 meeting in Rome. Having reached $1.3618, GBPUSD is increasingly expected to extend $1.30 in the medium term, a figure last seen in September 1985. Parity in EURGBP remains a more plausible target than $1.25 in GBPUSD.

Geithner’s FX Message to Asia

Yesterday’s remarks from US Treasury Secretary designate Tim Geithner expressing his views in favour of flexible exchange rate systems were largely targeted at China, but more of such remarks could be interpreted as his green light to allow the further declines in the USDJPY exchange rate, currently at 14-year lows. Geithner is familiar with FX matters at the NY Fed, including the notion of double standard policy espoused by the Bush administration in past years whereby US officials pressured Beijing against yuan-selling intervention while allowing Tokyo to engage in yen-buying interventions in 2002-2003 as both measures served the interests of the U.S. economy.

Geithner’s allusion yesterday that China is engaging in currency manipulation would be a departure from the US Administrations repeated shrugging of the matter. In the event the Obama Treasury pressures China into further currency revaluation, the dollar/yen exchange rate would make the transition from falling to collapsing, especially if Beijing stonewalls Washington as it is likely to do considering its slowing economy.

Forex traders may reason that Geithners experience with international monetary affairs grants him the ability to attain successful coordination with European and Asian policy makers in stabilizing currency swings. But there is validity to the opposite argument stating that Geithners experience implies his awareness of the non-viability of currency intervention due to prevailing fundamentals. With US interest rates expected to remain at zero and UK interest rates have yet to reach that level, the downside for both USD and GBP is here to stayparticularly against JPY. Reiterating the notion of a high correlation between Fed tightening cycles and USDJPY , the exchange rate is expected to break below 80 and onto 72-73.

By Ashraf Laidi
CMC Markets NA
AshrafLaidi.com

I think Geithner has his own reasons for turning up the heat on the Chinese, and those reasons probably have little to do with strengthening our currency. The Democrats do have their routine down, though. Scapegoating, populism and pie in the sky claims. More people fall for it every year.

chunderroad on January 30, 2009 at 12:40 AM

Democratic protectionists loaded up the bill with “Buy American” clauses that shut out foreign producers of steel and iron. Just as in the Depression, however, that will force other nations to close their markets — which will virtually recreate the Smoot-Hawley fiasco that made the Depression exponentially worse:

This is what we deserve for Bush selling out our nation to the Third World.

I hope this bill succeeds.

sethstorm on January 30, 2009 at 7:08 AM

Next week’s Global Economic Forum in the ski slopes of Davos

…because for some, Aspen is too accessible and first-worldly.

sethstorm on January 30, 2009 at 7:46 AM

which will virtually recreate the Smoot-Hawley fiasco that made the Depression exponentially worse:

This is what we deserve for Bush selling out our nation to the Third World.

I hope this bill succeeds.

sethstorm on January 30, 2009 at 7:08 AM

This may come as a shock…but Bush wasn’t president during the depression…
The “third world” is the liberals playground…turn to the liberals for there efforts…you do know that Feinstein was kicked off committees for making sure contracts and favorable legislation was passed to help her husbands businesses…do you have any Republicans where that happened?
No? I didn’t think so…

right2bright on January 30, 2009 at 8:41 AM

This is what we deserve for Bush selling out our nation to the Third World.

I hope this bill succeeds.

sethstorm on January 30, 2009 at 7:08 AM

Seth, I highly recommend a course entitled Principles of Economics 101. When you make irrational comments like this one, you put on full display the breadth of your ignorance.

At the same time, when we learn that such anti-trade features are inserted into the so-called “stimulus” bill, we realize that not only our friend Seth but this entire liberal administration have no comprehension of sound economic principles. Where are Obama’s appointed economic geniuses when we need them?

DrStock on January 30, 2009 at 8:43 AM

I hate to argue with Ed…naw, I love to argue with Ed!.
The Smoot-Hawley tariff Act did not, repeat NOT make The Depression exponentially worse. The Depression wasn’t on us… yet.It took a recovering recession/ market correction/bubble burst and kicked it over the edge INTO a depression. What made that depression exponentially worse was all the crap that Hoover and then FDR did to correct it.
I recommend everyone read “Great Myths of the Great Depression“. It shows, once again, that government is usually at the bottom of evil. And proves Einsteins quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Amendment X on January 30, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Why are they trying to make sure that the material for these “stimulus” projects is bought in the U.S. but they have no requirement for the firms bidding on those projects use e-verify to check their employees.

We don’t want our “stimulus” remitted to Mexico.

schmuck281 on January 31, 2009 at 5:39 AM

It shows, once again, that governmentbusiness is usually at the bottom of evil. And proves Einsteins quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

FIFY.

Get the business influence out of government.

sethstorm on January 31, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Seth, I highly recommend a course entitled Principles of Economics 101. When you make irrational comments like this one, you put on full display the breadth of your ignorance.

Took the courses, was like an indoctrination.

At the same time, when we learn that such anti-trade features are inserted into the so-called “stimulus” bill, we realize that not only our friend Seth but this entire liberal administration have no comprehension of sound economic principles. Where are Obama’s appointed economic geniuses when we need them?

DrStock on January 30, 2009 at 8:43 AM

I translate that as: “Where are the True Believers of the Reagan Doctrine? All I see are heathens.”

When they mean enemies foreign and domestic, they don’t make an exception for economics.

sethstorm on January 31, 2009 at 11:23 AM

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