From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
There's no shortage of controversy when it comes to the massive stimulus bill – including whether or not it should include a "Buy American" provision.
Supporters of the "Buy American" provision want all bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure to be made of American materials.
Supporters insist that using only U.S. made goods in work projects - like bridges, roads and tunnels - will help jump-start the economy by giving business to American companies. Steel companies and labor unions are pushing for such a provision. But others worry that restrictions could start a trade war, and make the economic downturn even worse.
When the House passed its stimulus bill last week – it ensured that only U.S. made iron and steel can be used for construction – with a few notable exceptions. But the Senate has agreed to softened the "Buy American" clause, saying it won't override existing trade treaties.
President Obama says he doesn't want any provision that would violate U.S. trade rules. Already some of our closest trading partners are voicing concern. The European commission says it might challenge such a move if it becomes law. And Canada says it would violate NAFTA if the U.S. buys only American-made steel.
Some economists are also hesitant - saying now is not the time to institute any kind of protectionist measures. If the U.S. refuses to buy foreign made goods, our trading partners might decide to stop buying our exports - which could hurt us even more in the long run.
Here’s my question to you: Should the final version of the stimulus package contain a "Buy American" provision?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Billy from Las Vegas writes:
The argument that "Buy American" would start a "trade war" is bogus. This country has been in a trade war for decades. Our manufactures and farmers have been screwed over by European, Japanese and Korean import duties on American products going back to just after WWII and by the Chinese since the early 1990s. There has never been a "level playing field" with these countries.
Jim from Las Vegas writes:
Absolutely, yes! What good does it do if we spend a trillion dollars if all of it winds up going overseas in one form or another? We are already a net-importer, which is a big part of our problem. One of the reasons Obama was so popular in the rust-belt was his stance on bringing jobs back to America. It's time for him to follow through on this.
Robert from Galveston writes:
How are we going to buy only U.S.-made products when U.S. companies have been sending our manufacturing jobs overseas for the last 30 years? Most of our steel mills are closed or packed up and sold overseas, our cars are made here with components made elsewhere, there are no TV manufactures in this country and the list goes on, and on.
Jack, Absolutely we should have buy American provisions in any stimulus package. The purpose of the bill is to stimulate the American economy, not Canada's, nor Britian’s and definitely not China's. What are they going to do, sue us, attack us, well, maybe China.
How shortsighted. We expect the rest of the world to lend us the money to fund our stimulus package then add a "buy American" clause to shut them out. It would serve us right if foreigners quit purchasing our Treasury Bonds and let have a really deep depression.
If there was a "Produce Quality" provision, we wouldn't need a "Buy American" provision.
Why not? The money is American and it is Americans who will have to pay it back. Witho;ut this regulation the money will go to build auto plants in Brazil and oil refineries in Mexico. We all saw what we got from the Bush tax cuts; nothing.
Yes, but very satisfactory products should be the only ones that go out in the market.
Absolutely and what a novel idea in this crazy world. But then, what can you buy that is American? The only thing we make any more is people who know how to take someone's life's savings and abuse the use of that money and think that somehow someway they are being smarter than Economics 101 is. We know how to make people who mandate that they get paid 400 times what their "worker bees" make and think they are worth it.
That would be nice if you can even find American made products. I shopped for a shower head and looked at everyone on the racks, all were made in China, none made in America. Where are the American products????
There are an awful lot of American jobs which are are dependent on the exporting of American made goods. Forcing exclusive purchase of American made goods may end up costing jobs in the long run if other countries retaliate as a result. The whole purpose of the Stimulus Package ought to be increasing the total number of jobs, so it would be a crime to end up shooting ourselves in the foot by totally excluding imported goods. It will be well worth the time and effort to strike the right balance.
I have heard all of the arguments about how American Protectionism was the final nail in the coffin that brought about the Great Depression. I think a lot of the points are valid-but not all. That said I think having a "Buy American" clause in an economic stimulus package that is geared towards specific industries in the US that will help US industry and workers is not the same thing and also a good idea.
I can't speak for the plan. I do speak for myself – for the last couple of years I have tried my best to "buy American" or not buy at all. When my son was in Iraq we were buying ammunition from Poland and Japan. Any defense products should be entirely American made, our security could depend on that. We were a great manufacturing nation and we are becoming a service industry country – I do not believe such a country can survive. I say "Make in America" and "Buy American."
In financial times like this, the tendancy is to always look inward; but America is the world economic leader and any attempt to only look inward with a "buy America Provision", will only alleniate the world and have nasty reprocussions on USA based companies who depend on a world market.
Absolutely not, you cannot put the genie back into the bottle. The Economy is now global, we trade globally. We are here now, turning around will not solve the problem but make it worse. We need to examine and attack this depression from the stand point of where do we want to be in the next five years and beyond. If we improve the quality and delivery of Education and Health Care and eliminate the economic and class war fare for these services this will produce jobs and equip our Country for the long term. Look on the internet, many School Districts are stillin search of qualified people. Many Hospitals and Hospital related industries are still looking for qualified people. If we pursue with vengence alternative green energy technology this will produce jobs. We need teachers, medical professionals, engineers, scientist, and of course people to then build stuff. Much of our approach is with fear and not with boldness
Given that we have a huge trade deficit, I don't see the threat of other countries not buying our exports as being that much of a threat. If we eliminated all trade at this moment, the U.S. would have more money overall, not less.
I think the "Buy America" should be in the bill. Our politicians speak around the world talking about American interests. Frankly, I think that we are taken advantage of in many areas of the world. Our interests in the short term is to get our economy moving again. How can we do that if we are not taking care of our own? America can't help other causes around the world if our country is built on quicksand. If the world defines this as protectionism, then, so be it.
I don't think it is a very good idea be cause it tells the other countries that we are not smart enough to compete in a world economy. I think it is smart to have construction projects that will help to rebuild America. We definitely need this work done and it will create jobs. American businesses need to stop crying and flying around in corporate jets, asking for loans, giving out bonuses when they have no profits and paying people outrageous sums of money when they helped lead their companies into bankruptcy. The day of having to call a carpenter to move the board that is your way on a job is over and the unions need to realize this. It will call for everyone to take a pay cut from the a top executive sitting in a million dollar office to the person that has to clean that office in order for us to start competing in a world economy
I'm not sure if "buy American" is the best idea, but then someday I'll buy either a Honda hybrid or a Toyota Prius. (Detroit: take not. I'll buy the car with the highest MPG. I don't care where it comes from.)
However, I strongly believe the stimulus must insist on a 'hire' American rule. After the last bank bailout, a number of banks laid off their American emploees and hired people on H-1B visas. Time and time again, when we give business any sort of hand-out, they either off-short or they import workers who receive wages and working conditions one step higher than slavery. That MUST end. I'll also support a provision that demands hire UNIONIZED American workers.
We can't run an economy if people are too broke to buy anything. The environs of Los Angeles, where I live, has oodles of housisng with starting prices of $ 300,000 to $ 500,000. The average wage in Los Angeles is $ 43,000. Explain to me how a person with a $ 43,000 income can afford a $ 300,000 house. What results is APR's, and when the payment goes up, we get a foreclosure. That the big reason also that the Ikason amendment needs to be scrapped. It just encourages more APR's, more house flipping and will result in another mortage meltdown. Basically, neither our real estate sector nor any other sector of this economy will survive until average working person, not the CEO, gets a higher salary. (Higher salaries will also keep Social Security and Medicare solvent.)
That incidentally is one thing the the GOPigs will never understand. That's the BIG reason they should have no say-so in the stimulus package.
A "buy America" provision sounds like a good idea, except that we don't make anything anymore and whatever is needed might not be available to buy. At this point, I prefer a "hire America" provision. It's time to stop importing workers while Americans are out of a job. It's also time to stop outsourcing. There should be a significant tariff imposed on goods being imported from overseas that have been manufactured as a result of an American company outsourcing labor. Why can't they figure this out? If we don't have jobs, we can't buy whatever they're selling.
Jack, the economy is so poor, people should be happy if they can afford to "buy" anything let alone American.
Why should we care about NAFTA anyway? The only thing it has done was to send jobs down Mexico way and elsewhere. What is wrong with buying American? How much of our product does our so-called "trading partners" actually buy from us anyway? I say it is about time we start thinking about our own for a change and jumpstart our own economy.
This is a very delicate situation, I can see where if written into law, how it could be counter productive, as most of our trading partners would likely respond in kind.
If there were any since of nation left in corporate America, this would be done with out a written law, (would have been suggested through the media in a subtle way and then acted upon.) But the greed and short sightedness of business (big and small) owners/executives will purchase the least expensive material/goods they can find, thus we have the vicious circle were caught in now. We have reached the breaking point, by using the"greed is good" motto. Subbing jobs outside of the US (and not taxing the guilty appropriately) and buying cheap foreign products, we have effectively gutted the most powerful economy in the world.
So to answer you question, No!
It should be done through a nations since of Country.
BUY AMERICAN, AMERICANS!!
John in Dallas
Can we finally focus on what made this country.?!!! When we stopped making things, that was the beginning of the end!
You mean we still make things for export? The only way to avoid a trade war, live up to our treaties, and still help U.S. industry get on its feet is to require, where appropriate, a certain minimum percentage of U.S. made materials and goods be used in state and federal projects. Our trading partners are in trouble, too. They are likely to agree to some amending of treaties.
San Clemente, Cal.
Excuse me, I thought the whole idea was to put Americans to work. Jack, please explain how buying foreign-made products does that. Besides, aren't we supposed to be repairing our bridges and electric grid. Can we get those from China?
Port Aransas, TX
It seems like anytime we limit ourselves to a few companies in America, they gouge the government for ourtrageous prices because they know they can. If they come in with the lowest bid...and they should given the advantage they would have in reduced transportation costs than other countries would...they should get the contract.
Absolutely not. We have trade agreements in place and this would only go to alienating our trade partners. This so called 'stimulus package' should be voted down!!!
Since so little of what we purchase is not made in America such a provision would actually worsen the situation. Maybe our economic malaise could trigger a resurgence in our manufacturing capabilities but that will be far down the road. Let's get money out there for real work that creates real jobs and forget the fluff.
how can we buy american when evryone is going out of busniess,you should say buying China.
YES THAT'S A GOOD IDEA ! but i can't think of anything made here except those grandma's in Vermont that make teddy bears . you know Jack if i save real hard bypass a few meals i might be able to buy one by October...
Absolutely not. We have committed to opening up markets and must be the leader in this area. We must not let the economic downturn deflect us from what is best in the long run for everyone.
Buy American? Don't put it in there. Just do it. And that goes for individuals too? Do you know what brands of shoes are made in the USA? It's not many, but there are some.
If we are going to go to a buy USA for infrstructure work we need to build some new steel mills first.
The answer is NO. Because there is no clear definition of "American Made" anymore. It simply adds more confusion and frustration. If something is assembled in Unites States but all parts come from foreign countries, is that "American Made"? Apple's iPhone is designed in US but may use foreign workers during the design; and the product is manufactured in China completely, is it considered to be "American Made"?
Yes, the final version should contain a "Buy American" provision mandating that if the material, such as steel, is manufactured in this country by Americans, it must be bought from our companies rather than being bought from foreign suppliers. We should also not give any of the stimulus money to any giant corporation that is based out of a foreign country or island, in order to evade taxes, or who "outsources" jobs, that could be performed by American workers, to foreign countries.
That's a conundrum, Jack. I guess it would depend on the product. For instance, just about everything you buy these days is made in China ... which is a direct result of American companies outsourcing to make bigger profits. And then, of course, there's the oil situation. America imports a huge percentage of oil from other countries, a ton of which comes from your neighbors to the north. To 'buy American', might just put the economy further into the toilet and make it even tougher to get out of it.
When Tax dollars are being spent for infrastructure we should have the best possible products at the best possible prices – if the grade of product is equal and the price is in the ball park we should buy American – but lets not use inferior products just because their made at home nor buy less superior products just because we might offend some country or because its cheaper – Example: Grandma made great jams that she gave for free but there's some jams from Denmark that taste better, have less sugar and more fruit but they aren't free; I'm willing to buy jams from Denmark.
Buy American should be a requirement for the stimulus package, but only if the goods or services are readily available for projects funded by the stimulus package. Until the US can produce the raw materials and widgets needed for other industries in America, a 100% Buy American plan will slow down the needed growth. However, there should be some kind of clause that would definitely promote keeping money within our borders, putting people to work, and making people feel better.
NO......the day of "buy American" is over.
We are a global economy and must trade and compete globally.
No! This is now a world economy, and to ruin our favorable trade relationships to support narrow union objectives is unwise, and will hurt our economy further. Free trade principles must stand, and be furthered.
New Britain, CT
I believe there should be some form of Buy American. The end result of the stimulus bill is supposed to be the creation of American jobs. It should be worded where under certain circumstances then we should use foreign materials.
What's wrong with buy American? That isn't 'protectionist', its 'patriotic'! The trade decifict is one of the things that got us into this mess. Are we going to outsource the recovery spending to cheap overseas labor too?
Let's think for a change and do what we gotta do. Yes, I would love to see "Buy American", but I would also like to have the job I had one year ago.
Los Angeles, CA
How bout a compromise and require that a percentage of supplies be American made – say at least 50 or 60% and the rest could be bought outside the USA?
Buy American....... Until we get out of this mess..... ALL the American worker is asking for is a FAIR trade agreement!
I think that minor issues like the "Buy American" provision shouldn't even be arugued at this point. Our legislators should be ashamed of the bickering and lack of focus. We all need to pull together to make compromises to make something positive happen.
Yes!( if the aim is to commit economic suicide)
we have to learn from history and not repeat its mistakes. When you look at the depression of 1933, taking protectionist measures actually prolonged the depression. There is a need for balance somehow in respecting trade treaties while offering the taxpayers which are the consumers of goods access to goods to get the best deal for their money. I do not know how to express this beside it is not the time to fear working with others outside our respective countries with respect to bring back this world economy on solid ground...otherwise your next post asking us is the world economy in a depression could become a reality at a much faster pace.
Yes, it should be only American made products to be used in the stimulus bill. What good would it do just to give the money to countries overseas?
It sounds good at first but we cannot exclusively "Buy American." Other countries may take after the United States and not buy outside of their borders for similar projects which in turn hurts the American economy. I say promote "Buying America" when and where you can, but be careful.
Yes, there should be a "Buy America" provision in the final version of the stimulus package. The other countries are worried about saving their own skin at America's expense. They need to find elsewhere to peddle their goods. Oh, that argument about not buying our exports doesn't hold water because the other countries stopped doing that a long time ago. Let's stand up and save AMERICA!!!
No, Jack, the plan should not mandate a buy American provision. Instead the legislation should provide positive incentives to those who do buy American.
I think the stimulus should contain an "Employ American" provision.
Yes, the Stimulus Bill should include both a buy American prevision and the E Verify requirement. Buy and hire American. Other countries' are putting such requirements in their stimulus programs.
There should be absolutely NO buy America provisions. This is a worldwide prtoblem in a worldwide economy.
Al in Dartmouth MA
Europe and other countries including China are investing in their own economies to the exclusion of US or other countries products. Why can't we do the same? It has been proven by experts that by our using American products in the stimulus package, it would NOT break a single treaty.
We can't take care of the rest of the world until we cure ourselves.
My shoulders are weary. How about yours?
I think it would be great if a "buy American" clause was in there. Countries have taken advantage of the fact that we are willing to buy billions of dollars worth of good from them. If they want to be selfish and stop buy from us because we are going through a rough time then it will have to be a risk we are willing to take. Perhaps we can make deals with the countries we give the shaft to, to only import certain goods from each other. It really is basic economics, specialization.
No, you can't impose a "buy American" restriction to the stimulus package without opening a can of worms with our trading partners. However – and the Republicans should love this – you can give tax incentives to companies that buy American goods.
The Europeans have been doing THAT forever.
My family and I all worked hard to help get Obama elected and we did so in the belief he would fight for working Americans. My husband and I both are union workers. He with the IBEW and I with AWPPW. Unions need these jobs so those members and their families can start to buy products, take trips, purchase homes, and save money again. Please lets put American workers first.
Buy America, what does that really mean now? Most of the American companies are making stuff in china and india anyways. Then again japanese and german cars are being built in america. We need people to know who the real american companies, like buying a nissan is putting money in people who built it in america, not like buying a chevy that is made in mexico or china, which only makes the ceo's rich.
And China and India already have enough of are money and stolen jobs.
Buy American can also mean ...buy European, buy Asian, buy South American, buy Canadian...get the picture? Not the time for for protectionist measures; The world is looking for new global leadership from the United States
I don't think that provision should be in there, or at least not with language that absolutely requires "buying American." Doing this would cause costs to American companies, such as car manufacturers, to pay increased cost for materials, and they would then pass the increase on to the consumer. This would cause a drop in sales. So would this really be a net gain to the American economy? I doubt it.
YES! YES! AND MORE YES! Part of the reason why our economy is failing is because it is hard to create jobs since most of the products we buy come from places like China. We are so dependent on foreign manufacturing that is has affected our economy. Not only do we need independence from foreign oil, we need to be independent from foreign manufacturing. What good is a country if it can't make its own supplies?
Absolutly NOT, a repeat of the mistakes of it Great Depression are the last thing we need now !
Enough is enough, if the world want a trade war they would be cutting their own throats. It's an idle threat because their recover as their down turn in the economy depended on the US. They have for years pushed if not violated the free trade rules in subsides to business which let them unfairly compete for sales. About time we take a stand an repair our economy which long term will help the world.
I understand the reluctance for including a "Buy American" clause in this plan and its impact on our trading partners. Instead, how about giving an incentive to companies who do not export jobs overseas. That way we are not violating trade agreements and at the same time still supporting the notion of creating American jobs by producing American products.
The final version should NOT include a buy american clause....
the world economic situation is bad enough, and by implementing this, the US will start off a trade war that will only hurt it in the long run
The bill should specify not that construction projects buy American but that government funds can only be used to pay American companies. An important distinction. Let other funds, from the individual states, from donations, or whatever, be available to buy from companies outside the US.
–Terry, unfortunately residing in Cincinnati
What ever happened to the idea of buying whatever is economically the best buy for business? If that is the standard being applied, no one would have to dictate where products should be purchased. Such purchases would be based on solid business principles.
Yes. Personally, part of the economic mess we're in is due to the trade deals with our "allies." I say, keep Americans employed by BUYING AMERICAN.
The question is too "fuzzy" and the answer is not as simple of the questions. While people want to use that slogan like we did in the 70s and 80s, our American economy is connected to the global economy. We need to be the leader in this new global economy, not isolationist. We may not see it now, but we will succeed in our long term investment...like we should of been for the past 8 years.
This is truly a world economy. We should not shoot ourselves in the foot. We need the rest of the world to particapate and we should not alienate them. I say no protectionism!!!!!!
Yes, the stimulus package should include a "buy American" clause. Wallstreet and banks keeping driving home the fact that they can't act responsibly. Any entity receiving bailout money from taxpayers should only receive it under tight restrictions. As an example, if we the taxpayers are forking over money to digitize medical records, then it sure as hell better not get outsourced to India!!!
Jack- Yes we should have a buy American clause. Our manufacturing base is virtually non-existent. America is by-in large a 'service' economy which does not generate nearly as much job growth or income potential as a strong manufacturing base. We need to re-tool and fire up our steel mills. This would ensure long-term growth while America rehabilitates roads, bridges and construction projects. I do believe that we can have a middle ground (50% domestic,50% foreign) of buy American that may not necessarily antagonize our foreign trade partners.
Yes, it should require to "Buy American" whenever possible, but not necessarily demand it exclusively.
Why worry about "protectionist" claims?
Other countries might not accept our products?
Do we actually export anything anymore other than food these days?! Heck, even our food isn't accepted everywhere anymore since it doesn't meet their safety standards!
A strong American economy and dollar is good for the global community.
As a Canadian business owner, the "buy american only" thinking
causes us great concern. Our supplier for our business is American, who imports their product. Should "buy american" be the norm, our
business would fail, but the impact on our American supplier would
be significant as well. We are all tied together in the global economy
and should proceed with caution. We're all in this together, and Obama seems to be clearly thinking of this, unlike the Repulicans, who seem to have a very short memory of how this mess came to be.
While "Buy American" might be an ideal, this is NOT the time to even consider it. If we restrict companies to that, what do we do when supplies run short, or costs are too high which taxpayers ae paying for.
No right now buy where we can, get the people to work, and get the stimulus passed.
I am appalled at the Republicans who under Bush has no problem spending billions to get our young men killed in an illegal invasion, but they are fighting helping the American people acting like they are the ones doing it right.
Pat in Oregon
I believe we should have a strong "buy american" provision in the economic stimulus package. What better way to provide "economic stimulus" by buying american. These are american tax dollars and american jobs we are trying to create. This is an american stimulus plan.
Of course, President O'Trade Union will support a "Buy American" policy. The fact that it is anti-capitalist, unproductive, and horrible for the American people won't deter this administration from paying off the constituency that delivered the goods – 'er votes – in the last election. We can't afford to "Buy American" when it means paying $50/hour for blue collar union workers who are 1/2 as productive as their offshore counterparts. Sad but true.
We are in the shape we are in now because of NAFTA. We should be Buying American. The only trouble is we don't make anything. We import everything.
Absolutley, Oil is not the only import that we are addicted to!
We need to get off importing as much as possable and get back to
being self as sufficiently indepenent as possible.
No way Jack. Any minimal gains we could receive economically would be vastly outweighed by the repercussions in international trade. If other countries start enacting similar provisions, it would significantly harm our exports, which represents a large chunk of our economy. Aside from the long term financial harm such a move could create. A "trade war" as you put it is often a precursor to real war. Japan attacked the United States in 1941 because the we wouldn't trade oil with them. One of the biggest justifications for creating GATT after WWII (now the WTO) was to prevent the violence that often accompanies economic conflict between nations. Starting a return to protectionism is THE WORST idea Congress could have... and this is Congress so that's saying something.
Is it still possible to buy American? Do we still make anything?
What exactly do we export nowadays? I see no reason for NOT buying American. Our part of the global economy has been overwhelmingly as consumers.
Jack as much as I would love for us Americans to only buy what we make in this country, now may not be the time to enforce such a rule. The last thing we need is to have other nations not wanting to trade with us and in turn stop buying American exports whcih we know will once again lead to unemployment and companies closing down. Perhaps some type of tax credit or discount on large items could be given for Americans that buy our own items such as cars or boats or the like. American pride is great to have, but we are in a position that we need outside help , too.
i'm 60 wffrom the south and proud of our country...the senate had best start looking after america....nafta and chinese imports have destroyed the manufacturing in this country...a generation lost to trade...tell the senate to stand up for america...and let the world look after their own.
Yes the stimulus plan should include a "Buy American" clause. It should include a certain percentage of the project cost. For instance "must buy American for at least 25% of the hard construction costs and 75% of the soft development costs". Or it could be formulated similar to the promotion of M/W/ESB business in local and state contracts. Contractors with a higher "buy American" promise get the contract. We should give American business going after these contracts a choice to use national or foreign products but reward those that pick American. We need to look out for ourselves like countries like China do for their people.
Right now we need to "Buy American". Realistically its the one true way to stimulate the economy and save jobs. However, I think the white elephant in the room, the question no one is asking, "Do we want to piss off our 'bankers', those countries who we borrowed and borrowed from to fund our economy of greed? Honestly, that is what the buy american phrase does. So sad for those of us who are suffering the most. Enjoy your blog... Keep up the good work!
Buy American? If we don't, who will. Seems to me, before Nixon went to China and more trade deals were signed, we had a more stable and satisfied middle class. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than now. And we had jobs. BTW, I'm a Republican.
Ken in Seattle – you've bought into the GOP rhetoric. It is silly to think that if we BUY AMERICAN our AMERICAN workers will lose their jobs .. silly and wrong. The only thing our trade agreements do is offer so-called "free" trade (no taxes on the trade.) It will NOT cost any American a job if we go back to tarriff trade. Free Trade is corporate America's way of getting cheap help from overseas workers.
Yes I think that the stimulus should include buy American. This stimulus plan is "supposed" to be for the purpose of stimulating the "American Economy" not the World Economy. If there is a World Economy package with the World bailing out the World then maybe the package would be different. In fact, I think that American companies that do business in America (unless the product is unable to be produced in America) should use American workers, and this should be based on the amount of the products sold in America. Example if Ford sales 80% of their cars in America, then 80% of their workers should be American. If Nokia sales 60% of their products in America then 60% of their employees should be American. And if an American company out-sources then they should have to pay taxes for that out-sourcing or drop the % they sale in America.
No way, Jack! Although a "buy American" provision would provide Americans with jobs and stimulate the economy, we can't forgot that much of the world is dealing with the same economic troubles. If we don't buy materials from other countries, then they won't buy from us, and economic growth will be difficult for countries all over the world. The "buy American" provision should not be included in the stimulus package, because now, with the state of our economy rapidly declining, it is not the time to revert to economic isolationism.
Absolutely! Retailers should be given tax incentives for stocking "Made in America" products as opposed to those manufacturered overseas, then pass that savings along to consumers. In a round about way, it should create jobs here in America!
We if are going to spend a trillion dollars, we should spend it in America, not in China.
Dear Jack, the founder of Walmart had a slogan, " buy American whenever possible" worked for Walmart and it can work for America. Jim Sloan Bangkok
I believe it is rather controversial whether Smoot-Hawley actually exacerbated the Great Depression though if it did, it would have been because we were running a trade surplus at the time. Since we are currently running a huge trade deficit, I'm not sure how ending that can damage our economy other than the temporary disruption as we have to find or develop domestic sources for all the things we now import. I seriously doubt that any of our trading partners would start a trading war over a "Buy American" provision in the stimulus bill since they would suffer much more than we would. Maybe we can give Canada and Mexico an exemption.
Buy america could be very dangerous. Imaging if every county were to do this.We depends on exports more than most and in the end our country suffer and regret it.
As a Canadian I am anxious about a "Buy American" provision in the stimulus package. I am also anxious about the USA diminishing industry as your business success in the world also means our success.
I suggest President Obama's attitude that if countries do not have proper health care, pension plans, wages offered through their businesses then that is a better route to go first in encouraging a Buy American attitude so that everyone is on the same level playing field in industry. Most of our industries are on the same footing as yours as respects these features and we do not want to see any of our citizens become as poor as the people in Asia.
British Columbia, Canada
This will only backfire against US. If it cannot be made cost effective and in huge quantity to meet the demand, it is going to delay the proposed projects.
The stimulus package should contain a "Buy American" provision. Our economy is dying because we manufacture very little and almost everything we purchase is manufactured overseas.
We shoot ourselves in the foot when reason gets trampled by emotion. The "Buy American" notion seems initially like a natural reaction to helping our economy, particularly if the stimulus package will include efforts to rebuild our infrastructure. The reality, however, is that a strict admonition for the "Buy American only" approach could touch off a trade war with all the negative ramifications of economic isolation... making our plight even worse (though hard to imagine).
I believe at the very least, we should export no more goods from a country than they do from us, whether it be steel, automobiles, or whatever. Fair is fair.
I don't see why we should be expected to send our tax dollars overseas, I don't see any other government sending money here to help us out, I know they have not send me a dime to help me or my wife out with unemployment.
I think that fair trade (get that FAIR, which most of the supposed "Free Trade" agreements that have been signed do not guarantee nor deliver to the US) is great, but US tax payers money should be spend here when possible, we send enough overseas in the private sector.
Any boost in our economy would in turn benefit those trading partners in the long run since it would help to put the American consumers back to work and help them to be in a situation where they would buy goods that are from other countries and made with the raw materials from those countries.
I don't see too much wrong with buying the raw materials from other countries. But would definitely want all bridge and building 'steel' to be manufactured by: American steel mills and erected by American workers.
It should if you want to create a trade war and diplomatic mess with your biggest trade partner, namely Canada. I don't think I need to remind you that we are one of the most resource and commodities rich nations in the world. The buzz among some of the politicians here is what would happen if the the oil tap were turned off. That's only part of it. We are also one of the most lumber rich nations on earth. Our banks are healthy and sound and are currently ranked the best in the world. I could go on but I won't. Don't think for a moment that there are not other countries willing to buy from us. Be careful what you wish for. You don't hold all of the trump cards anymore.
Buying so much from foreign countries is in part what is wrong with our economy. I'm sure we cannot stop buying altogether from our foreign trade partners but in all cases we should make every effort to create all the jobs here we can. This would mean buying American as much as possible.
No. What ever happened to buying the best product at the best possible price. There should be a bidding process in the stimulus just as there is in most government operations. The U.S. needs the jobs but competition is the backbone of a capitalist society. Therefore, the best quality for the best cost should be a mandate.
how many labels do you see with made in america on them. in order to buy american you would have to manufacture in america. wouldn`t you???.
Buying American is fine as long as there is a fair trade ,between Countries,by stopping free trait it will help no one.We the people should make the difference and support our Country,like Trump said last night.We the people can control the Market,and stop buying all the cheap staf that China fill our Countries.Like e.g they buy scrap metal from your Country and and ours they sell it back to us like Gold.
I support my Country and buy Canadian but if I cannot find it I suppor our neighbors the Americans.
Fair trade Yes and is up to people to inforce it.
Helen from Canada
Jack , I can't find any american stuff. HOW ARE WE GOING TO USE IT.
Keep in the phrase 'Made in America". This is an American economic plan aimed to help American businesses & labor, not a stimulis plan for foreign imports. I have not seen in history any threat of a trade war or boycott to this country for not using imports to strengthen it's infrastructure. I look for products labeled 'Made in America', & employ only LEGAL Americans; why doesn't the elected law makers of this country do the same.
John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (made in Japan) for 6 AM. While his coffeepot (made in China) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (made in Hong Kong). He put on a dress shirt (made in Sri Lanka), designer jeans (made in singapore) and tennis shoe (made in Korea). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (Made in India). He sat down with his calculator (made in Mexico) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (made in Taiwan), to the radio (made in India). He got in his car (Made in Korea) and continued his search for a good paying American job. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day. Checking his computer (made in malaysia). He decided to relax for a while and turned on his TV (made in China) and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in America!!!!!!!!!
We buy water from Fiji. We get our wind turbines from Germany. Our sulfur laced sheet rock comes from China. Our vacuum packed New York Steaks from Australia. Apples from New Zealand. Levis are now made in Brazil and Pakistan. Our CEO's buy their Prada and Gucci shoes in Italy. The list goes on and on. What's wrong with buying America too?
The world must face one indisputable fact, when it comes to business, as America goes, so goes the world. The economic meltdown exemplifies this fact and in order for the business world to rebound, America must get well first!!! The buy America initiative helps America to repair our own economy so other economies can follow suit. The faster America is repaired the faster the world is repaired. Just think, if anyother nation's economy is fixed before America's who or what will it help??? Nobody since the world relies on America not vice versa!!!
No, in the final provision of the "Stimulus Package" should not contain "Buy American". We should not violate the U.S. Trade rules. I believe the Rep. are sitting on their bompus bottoms going line by line to change anything in this stimulus package. This package was set up for the middle class and lower income people. The new idea that has been added by the Republican, "is giving all american's a $15,000.00 credit to purchase a home". How about the american's that own their homes now and fighting to keep them. Here we go again with the Republican's. Heads up everyone!! Don't forget what the Republican's did to all us in the past 8 years.
Dear Jack, protectionism? Maybe a little. Most other countries subsidize a long list of thier industries that we don't. I think with a moderate approuch we can benifit our local industries and not pissoff our trade partners. Jim Sloan bangkok
What is wrong with Be American, Buy American? The two greatest economic powers in history, England and the United States, had the highest tariffs known to man. They didn't get there with low tariffs. As for precedent–will you please do some homework and talk about the Jones Act. What is really motivating the opponents of the Buy American provision? Think; stop knocking down over and over the straw man named Hawley-Smoot.
Isn't the goal of the Stimulus to ....well stimulate the U.S economy?
It is difficult to see how purchasing goods outside the U.S (although in many cases cheaper, and in compliance with trade agreements) would do anything to stimulate U.S economic interests. Taking stimulus money from the federal government (which is taken from tax payers) and using it to buy products outside the U.S doesn't stimulate anything but foreign economies.
And by no means is this protectionism, it is just an attempt to promote U.S businesses and products...the ones the Congress should be focused on right now.
YES! If a member of your family was in need and you could help, would you turn your back and instead help someone else? No. Buy American, Americans are counting on it.
Jack I believe in buying american is the major way of getting our economy back on track and in foriegn interest also. We are loosing way to many jobs to foriegn countrys now after all are they not blaming the U.S. for their economic woes? If we can not buy their goods for lack of money because lack of jobs and lack of our own goods to trade with him that should be only interest !
This is a U.S. stimulus plan, is it not? Why should U.S. taxpayer dollars be used to stimulate the economy of other countries?
Since when has anything the labor unions wanted been good for the US economy? Their ridiculous compensation demands are part of the reason why companies began outsourcing and manufacturing outside of the US decades ago to save money. Speaking of that, it's been a long time since I saw anything with a made in Canada or Mexico label on it. So what is all the talk about NAFTA? There are no jobs in Mexico, that's why the Mexicans have been coming here. And I still haven't figured out what the Canadians are doing these days...besides kissing Michael Moore's gluteus maximus, that is.
So we are going to ramp up the steel industry for two years?!? What happens after the stimulus money is gone?
We are going to ignore that the recession is global, and risk starting a trade war?!?
We are going to waste stimulus money and build our bridges with higher priced steel than what the free and open market can supply?!?
Here is a compromise....use our taxpayers money wisely and buy steel cheaper in the global marketplace, putting people to work rebuilding our infrastructure, with an agreement that when the economy is back on track, we will look and putting money into supporting the creation of a modernized, competitive steel industry.
Jack, Yes there should be a "Buy American" clause in the stimulus package. I thought the point was to stimulate OUR economy. For years I have watched American manufacturing vanish and our trade imbalance grow. It seems to me we would be better off if we produced and bought our own manufactured goods. The higher paying jobs would offset the lower costs from abroad just like the old days.
We should buy American where we can afford it and cannot forgo it. Otherwise, bang for the buck should be the rule and let free trade dictate the appropriate exchange rate,
Yes, we need to implement a buy American policy as part of the stimlus package. I am 61 years old and over the past few decades I have sadly witnessed a vast decline in the middle class worker and the great loss of necessary skills to keep this country great. At the same time I've witnessed corporate disloyalty to the nation that gave rise to their sucesses. Its time for a change, my grandchildren deserve a hopeful future just as I once had.
Last I checked this bill is intended to restart American businesses and rebuild American jobs after the Republicans ran our country into the gutter. Why in hells name would we want to buy imported goods as part of a recovery ? Sorry but this bill is focused on our economy, not China's and it should stay that way.
Yes, Jack, with the stimulous package a buy America clause should be instilled. We can buy iron, steel, lumber etc rather than importing it because it is cheaper. It is our dollars and should be used to
help our economy. Our country is victimized by the unfair trade acts,
we pay much more for imports than we get, and by keeping our
funds here, maybe, just maybe, it wil help create more businesses
and reopen the many that closed.
One of your viewers said that "BuyAmerican" shows the rest of the world that we can't compete with them. Maybe we can't compete if we try to pay our workers a decent living wage. Lets reveal the true amount India, China Mexico and etc. are paying plus they don't have to consider healthcare for employees. Please let's stick to the facts and stop the nitpicking while the economy keeps taking a nosedive.
Before we offer incentives to buy American, we should look at the companies' representations of women and Africian Americans in management levels. Specifically, the auto companies have over 90% of middle to upper management made up of white men despite almost 50% of the workforce is made up of women in America and if it were not for women, Obama would not have been elected. Also, women make up 65% of new car purchases and influence over 85% of all new auto purchases. I have worked for a domestic auto company supplier and the white men in management decided to fire and demote over 80% of the women in our supplier company and keep the same or promote over 80% of the men that worked for the supplier company. After their massive firing of women in 2006, their sales have been on a downward spiril. Women are the buyers of cars – and women should be the conveyers of what women want in cars.
No, there's nothing American left to buy.
Not necessarily! We could just do what China and Japan does and that is insure that their own economy serves their counties first regardless of what they pretend to say to the WTO or Trades Ageements. Oe we could address Buy American provisions by having the stimulus bill to amend the Trades Agreement Act to a threshold which ensures that contracts/federal funds have a significantly better chance of being awarded to American companies.
Absolutely, Buy American. We have lost so many manufacturing jobs over the last decade that we have to begin encouraging manufacturing and jobs. We were fools to outsource everything.
Yes there should be a a buy american provision. The companies that are fighting this provision are just trying to protect their interests
over seas . And are not interested in protecting the interests of the
Why would we? With millions of Americans out of work, we are still importing labor to the U.S. via the H-1B visas. Ask any politician how they feel about this and they will stare at you blankly as if you hadn't said a word. If we won't protect the jobs of the workers, why would we protect the companies they work for?
If you Americans insist on " Buy America" perhaps us Canadians should look at the the whole issue. We currently export 20% of the oil you use in your country. We supply a massive amount of water from British Columbia to your Western states, along with natural gas. The isotopes used in every hospital in America also come from Canada. We are not just a country of Mounties, Maple Syrup and nice folks.
Let the free market reign. We make the best product then we should use it. We are talking about raw materials here.
GREAT! and other countries should also STOP to buy American and should only buy their own products. And we should all stop with this corrupt practice of GLOBALIZATION where every one loses except the very rich who benefit from it.
I think is great, we buy only our American products and each country shuns us as well!
Jack – Two thousand steel-workers near me have been laid off for months. Why shouldn't my tax dollars put them back to work? It takes money to buy our trading partners imports ... no jobs, no money.
This is simple. We should buy the best product at the best price regardless of the source.
I have a Question Jack, Will there be True Americans actually making these products in America?
The effects of a stimulus package would be nominal if the main supplier of materials and goods are from other countries. Lets just save our money, let the chips fall where they may, and let the economy work like it should. With the world economy, the burden for stimulus should fall on all countries.
We should have a "buy American" provision in the stimulus package. We should do this in oder to instill confidence in products produced in our country. Our products are just as good if not superior to those foriegn manufactured items. And isn't it about time we worried about our companies and our workers first.
I want to know why we are afraid of a trade war. Seems to me since we buy more than we export, we are already in one. Only we are losing that war. Free trade means a level trading table. Since our trading partners protect their industries, it means we are the only ones participating. All a trade war means is the money won't leave the country faster than we can print it. Gosh does that mean we might actually have to produce products here for the american public?
It's a "Stimulus" plan, Jack, not a "Limitation" plan...We need to start making money NOW, moving products,creating jobs, and bringing in revenue. When we are in a more prosperous position (whenever that may happen) then we can be picky about where certain materials come from. Let just start making some money.
Janie, Springfield MA
This is like closing the barn door after the horse has already left. The greatest transfer of productivity has already taken place, and no one who could have done anything about it really gave a damn. This is the lamest attempt to say we care about American workers and American commerce. It's too little, too late, too short-term, too narrow, and this new-found concern for American manufacturing will go the way of the do-do bird once this recession is behind us.
Here's a barometer to keep in mind. I am a rate manager and traffic analyst for a Canadian flat deck trucking company. There is just as
much equipment, steel, lumber,etc. going into the U.S. from Canada as there is going into Canada from the U.S.. I think your congress should get their collective heads out of their asses. The province of Manitoba imports more from the U.S. than we ship into the U.S. Why these elected representatives would want to initiate a trade war is beyond me. I am very surprised it was even considered.
The "buy American" clause is a good idea because it would create competition among American steel and other industries as well as give money to where it is needed most, American companies.
Why is Canada chiming in? Countries are acting as if we are going to stop exporting all together. The only thing this provision protects is money going to federal/state projects. Isn't this attitude of export all of our business overseas for a cheaper price what got us into this mess to begin with? We need to stop worrying about other countries and worry about us right now.
Absolutely a Buy American provision makes sense for a stimulus bill. We are not restricting trade: we're just trying to get the maximum economic benefit for specific emergency government spending. I honestly think this is a no-brainer, and our trade partners are doing the same. If this isn't acceptable globally, I think it shows the type of trade treaties we really have: certianly not balanced ones.
No! If it is made cheaper and better elsewhere, why pay more. American companies need competition.
Come on what kind of a question is this! Do we really want to be a non competitive Nation one of isolation. Are people expected not to buy any exports many supplies will begin to get scarce and extremely expensive.
Bags of rice alone have tripled do we even grow that much rice here in America? In my travels to other countries I know that they many countries love American made products. We should stick with the Presidents plan of using this stimulus bill to help generate new jobs not create a socialistic atmosphere of isolationism.
I dont want US made goods in bridges and tunnels for the same reason I dont drive an American car, they are junk.
A few people asked how much the U.S. exports a year. In 2004 (the last year complete data is available for) we had 810 billion and change in exports (according to the International Trade Administration). That's every year. Furthermore, 31 million jobs in America are dependent on Trade (according to Business Roundtable). So, lets not be flippant about what affect protectionism can have on the U.S. economy.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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