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  • Buy American. Sell American.

    In most parts of the country, American shoppers understand the importance of getting the best value for their dollars. This type of common sense does not apply in Washington, D.C., where one day the federal government buys $16 muffins and the next it tries to pass laws making it illegal for state and local governments to buy inexpensive foreign-made products. According to President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act:

    None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.

    Requiring state and local governments to spend stimulus money on U.S.-made goods, even in cases where they could save millions of dollars by purchasing foreign-made products, wastes tax dollars. These rules also create a new layer of red tape for state and local governments. According to a spokesman for the American Public Transportation Association, “It’s always a challenge to meet Buy America rules, particularly in the area of rolling stock, because they are quite complex.”

    Buy American laws don’t just handicap local and state governments; they also provide corporate welfare to U.S. companies that can’t compete with foreign businesses, and they shrink export opportunities for competitive U.S. companies by encouraging other countries to maintain similar policies. As a spokesman for Intel Corporation recently testified:

    One of the main methods some governments use to promote indigenous innovations is by restricting participation in government procurement activities to domestic companies and products made locally.

    Although the American Jobs Act contains a disclaimer that the proposed new Buy American limits should be applied in a manner consistent with U.S. trade agreements, the spirit of the legislation runs counter to the goal of expanding trade. Representative Kevin Brady (R–TX), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Trade, recently offered a better suggestion:

    It is no longer enough to simply “Buy American.” To grow jobs and remain the world’s largest economy we must “Sell American” as well. Yet when American manufacturers compete around the world they often find themselves at a disadvantage—victims of an isolationist trade agenda in Congress and saddled with significantly higher product costs due to excessive regulation and an increasingly outdated tax code…. It’s time to stop blaming everyone else and time to start leading again on trade.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Buy American. Sell American.

    1. Bobbie says:

      lets see a show of Americans hands in favor of President Obama's performance of his "fundamental transformation" of America!!!! … LETS HEAR IT FOR: lack of leadership, no accountabilities, no progress for AMERICA!!! Direct sacrifice on some for the benefit of the irresponsible. Desperation for more money to fund the unaccountables' way! deception galore! cover ups and missteps! job killers and life killers! disrupt, interrupt and corruptt! PUT DOWNS AND CUTS! Unconstitutional overreach! Lack of freedom, etc, etc, etc.

      Lets see that show of hands, Americans!!

    2. Scott says:

      Your point on indigenous innovation misses the mark a bit. Do you think that by not having a domestic content preference on taxpayer spending China would suddenly stop putting up a host of market access barriers? Gimme a break. Trade is based on reciprocity. We'll give you access to our market if you do the same. Treat us as you wish to be treated. So, when the language says that the provision will be "applied in a manner consistent with U.S. trade agreements" it means that by simply opening your market (by signing the GPA) you will have access to our procurement market. China is the most protectionist country on the planet. Why should we hand over access to our market and get nothing in return?

    3. @FEDUPtoday says:

      It's no longer about the politics, we should just give up on any politician fixing anything. It's now about us taking matters into our own hands and creating jobs here at home by simply buying only American made products. That’s our only way out of this recession.

      If you are waiting for either the Republicans or Democrats to fix it, you have a long wait ahead of you!

      And why wait for any trade deal with other countries to either be tightened or loosened? We don't need them as much as they need us!

      No more politics, just buy American!

    4. Robin Altman says:

      Tax business to death in the US and now we get a saber-rattling Red China as a result.

    5. Robin Altman says:

      We have so many Free trade agreements it's mind-boggling. There is no such thing as a free lunch and these trade agreements are definitely not free. Every other country has it's protectionist policy which harms our Imports AND our Exports. Other countries baseline their industries so their US imports are lower cost than what the US can provide.

      Raw material providers are being snapped up by these one sided countries (Like Communist China) so that now Buy American has little meaning.

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