Skip to comments.Barack Obama to dilute 'Buy American' plan after Europe threatens US with trade war
Posted on 01/31/2009 3:04:09 PM PST by bruinbirdman
The White House has promised to review the protectionist proposals, passed last week by Democratic allies in the House of Representatives, which would ban the use of non-American steel in the $800 billion of construction projects.
Obama officials are under pressure from what European diplomats in Washington describe as a discreet but outspoken campaign of "quiet fury" from America's closest allies.
They regard the move as a provocative shift away from free trade and towards economic populism at a time of turmoil.
In a bid to win further favour with impoverished voters, Mr Obama announced yesterday that his Treasury team will launch a dramatic overhaul of the existing bank bailout programme this week, designed to rein in executive bonuses and ensure banks do more to help mortgage holders.
In his weekly radio address, Mr Obama promised to "help lower mortgage costs" and repeated his moral denunciation of corporate executives who ask for taxpayers money and then pay gigantic bonuses to their staff.
"We learned this week that even as they petitioned for taxpayer assistance, Wall Street firms shamefully paid out nearly $20 billion in bonuses for 2008," Mr Obama said. "The American people will not excuse or tolerate such arrogance and greed."
His Treasury team has calculated that a "big bang" announcement to overhaul the unpopular bailout programme - including new measures to reduce home repossessions - is most likely to restore public confidence. The plan will include limits on executive bonuses in firms which take public cash.
Mr Obama also called for the stimulus package to be passed quickly. But the Buy America provisions in the plan are forcing him to choose between a showdown with Congress and a collision course with other Western governments that could end in a trade war.
"The administration is reviewing that provision," said
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Smoot-Hawley ... in a PorktheUS bill.... say it ain’t so... Obama pissing off the Europeans....
LOL... Hey OBAMA you are making it so that the world really hates us now....
I guess the toadies in the Obamedia will call this yet another “win” for Obama.
What a Pussy!
The guy is a dim bulb. He was probably told by one of his mysterious advisers that this would make him look like he was on the side of the “little people” and make him popular with the God and guns crowd he despises but fears. Fortunately, we’re smarter than he is, although that’s not saying much.
If I (a Dewars guzzling, parmazzan and brie eating patriot) can do without European goods until the US economy recovers, then so can Obama. He needs to tell them to (diplomatically, of course) kiss his ass.
Exactly how is it any of the Europeans’ damn business how the U.S. government spends U.S. taxpayers’ money? Screw them. Let them spend their own damn money on their own damn steel.
It might be nice for America to have a steel industry if it ever decides to build another tank or warship. It might also be nice to have some manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
That may be the case, but I think one of the biggest factors in what is happening already in his administration is that he has an over simplified world view. This is true, in my opinion, of many liberals. “If we are nice to them they will be nice to us and stop hating us.” “All those who have less have less because they are victims, and they need the government to help them.” “If we just ask people to buy American, they will and this will result in a massive increase in dollars spent in the USA.”, Workers are all well-intentioned Bob Cratchits and owners are generally Scrooge-like”. The world is a lot more complex than that, and no single person or single group of persons has all the answers. Sadly, that is a lesson that the Harvard, Yale, Princeton etc. crowd just doesn't get. They have a very limited world view, even though there are a lot of very capable and smart people in those institutions. Ironic, but true. As an aside, if Obama wants to have a successful administration he should start picking advisors from a much wider distribution of society. So far many of the people he's picked are ideological clones. Just my opinion.
Having said that - what the hell is wrong with a buy American first requirement for any stimulus initiative?
Hope and Change. Step right up ...
” Having said that - what the hell is wrong with a buy American first requirement for any stimulus initiative? “
My first instincts are with you, but refer to lessons learned (and forgotten) from Smoot-Hawley, see above. Protectionism was a major, major part of making the Depression of the 1930’s into THE GREAT Depression.
My uncle who owned a tool and die was buying steel from overseas......40 years ago.
The Council of 500. Sounds familiar. Whatever happened to them? Council of 535 facing a similar fate?
DumbObama is a hilarious loser and he’s going to be one huge FAILURE.
The Obamanation opened up Pandora’s box by writing into the bill that the stimulus had to be directed to American companies. What he should have done is what the Europeans do: Bring antitrust charges against any foreign company that is a competitive threat to American business, and then the only companies left to bid are American companies.
Please, please, please bring on the trade war. I want to see various countries around the world complain to the WTO about the “Stimulus” bills and I want to see DumbObama have to deal with problem after problem. They will fail because, even if they were to stumble on the cause of the problems, they would never figure out the right solution.
Please let it get worse for the Obamessiah.
There are three parts to a job - schedule, cost and labor. If the U.S. steel plants are unable to supply the required structures at a fair price, program managers will look elsewhere for material to keep on schedule. Either that or pay U.S. steel companies a big pile and increase the program cost.
Program manager and his company get a beating from the customer, an possibly the last contract, for increased costs. Hence, the law of supply and demand - and self interest - keep costs in line.
The education of Hussien continues, and will take a long time.
BTW, the Dem’s wrote the bank bailout bill. Hussien supported the bailout bill.
These guys have zero creditbility with respect to making corrections and revisions
And Canada is also pissed off, not just the Euros.
Nobody wants a trade war
But he's so fond of having them kiss his feet!
It's very telling that the Euroweenies have more influence on Zero than do Republicans here at home. Should provide us with some very nice ammunition November of next year.
I think Australia is also pissed off. China has been recently telling us how we’re abandoning capitalism. Americans deserve all the financial pain they get. They embraced socialism. Let it hurt - a lot.
For Euros it does not matter who buys it, the US gov or Americans, steel is steel.
Welcome to the NWO lesson for Obama elect of the world.
Awsome. The Peace Messiah gives us a trade war, great depression and nukes next. Plus his little arrogant face of popularity worldwide is not making the Iranians happy, no matter how appeasing he will be.
Change indeed... hmm...
Yeah, whatever happened to pro-Union bipartisanship and Rush scapegoat stopping the bill.
When Eurowiennies step up, Barry changes his tune pants down.
>> Barack Obama to dilute ‘Buy American’ plan after Europe threatens US with trade war
We need to trade with our friends oversees.
I did not expect either Obama or the GOP to stand up for the USA and tell the EU to bleep off..
A myth. Trade was only 5% of GDP back then
Plus, $2 trillion in increased vote buying while cutting military expenditures by 10% (oh, but he increased funding for military housing for votes).
So the House Pubbies will have to vote again?
All softies get the money. Hard science, technology and defense/antiterror get cut... Hmmmm... It’s like firing cops before a protest is about to turn into a riot. Shades of NOLA/Katrina disaster... Bush’s fault.
And since Smoot-Hawley caused US exports (5% of GDP) to collapse by over 66% in under a year, Smoot-Hawley alone is reponsible for a rapid & permanent destructin of 3.5% of GDP. Unemployment was still at 7% when SH was passed, and rose by 150% to 17% in the 12 months following.
Ridiculous.... you are reaching
Every number I quoted above is accurate. Smoot-Hawley caused 3.5% GDP destruction and approx 5% unemployment for a decade. How can a country that is a net exporter not be hurt when international trade comes to a screeching halt, if there4 is no corresponding domestic demand to take up the slack? This is one of the few facts of economics that isn’t even counterintuitive.
Two events happened at the same time. To pin it on Smoot Hawly is absurd
What part of “trade was 5% of GDP’ do you not understand? You can take your numbers and throw them in the ocean. You are a free market ideologue who will dig up anything that gives you a glimmer of hope
Let me repeat it real slow.
Trade was 5% of GDP.
Global reaction to Smoot-Hawley destroyed 66% of US trade for the entire decade of the 1930’s.
5% times 66% = 3.5%
Smoot-Hawley erased 3.5% of GDP for the entire decade of the 1930’s.
I welcome any refutation that doesn’t involve calling people’s mothers nasty names.