Over at my home blog the other day I made a comment about the “economic stimulus” package to the effect that it will be remembered as the 21st Century version of the Smoot-Hawley tariff. I meant it figuratively.
Unfortunately, there is good reason to believe my statement can be taken literally. From the Telegraph UK:
The EU trade commissioner vowed to fight back after the bill passed in the House of Representatives late on Wednesday included a ban on most purchases of foreign steel and iron used in infrastructure projects.
The Senate’s version of the legislation, which will be debated early next week, goes even further, requiring that any projects related to the stimulus use only American-made equipment and goods.
The inclusion of protectionist measures has quickly raised hackles in Europe.
Catherine Ashton, the EU trade commissioner, said: “We are looking at the situation. The one thing we can be absolutely certain about, is if a bill is passed which prohibits the sale or purchase of European goods on American territory, that is something we will not stand idly by and ignore.”
Despite the parlous state of the US economy, some major American firms, including General Electric, are also opposed to the Buy American stipulations, fearing reprisals from overseas and further damage to the global economy.
Bill Lane, government affairs director for Caterpillar, which has just laid off nearly a fifth of its 112,000 work force and is the tenth largest US investor in Britain, warned it was a dangerous step.
He said: “We are the first to recognise that if the US embraces Buy American then the whole notion of buying national will mestastasize and limit our ability to take part in overseas projects.
“We are students of history. A major reason a very deep recession turned into the Great Depression was the fact that countries turned inward.”
Its true. The Democrats seem to either be that stupid, if they are harming the country accidently, or that evil, if they are doing it on purpose.
It is hard not to lean towards evil here. After all, who could be so stupid that they do not see the parallels with the Smoot-Hawley tariff and the Great Depression?
A petition was signed by 1028 economists in the United States asking President Hoover to veto the legislation, organized by Paul Douglas, Irving Fisher, James TFG Wood, Frank Graham, Ernest Patterson, Henry Seager, Frank Taussig, and Clair Wilcox. Automobile executive Henry Ford spent an evening at the White House trying to convince Hoover to veto the bill, calling it “an economic stupidity”. J. P. Morgan’s chief executive Thomas W. Lamont said he “almost went down on my knees to beg Herbert Hoover to veto the asinine Hawley-Smoot tariff.”
President Hoover didn’t get it. Obama obviously doesn’t get it.
We, the people, are going it get it…and hard.
(H/T to PowerLine)