Tag Archives: charlie gibson
In his interview this evening with Charlie Gibson, President Obama said – okay, we’ll say “implied” – that he wants the controversial (read: stupid) “Buy American” provisions removed from the stimulus bill:
CHARLES GIBSON: A couple of quick questions. There are “Buy America” provisions in this bill. A lot of people think that could set up a trade war, cost American jobs. You want them out?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I want provisions that are going to be a violation of World Trade Organization agreements or in other ways signal protectionism. I think that would be a mistake right now. That is a potential source of trade wars that we can’t afford at a time when trade is sinking all across the globe.
CHARLES GIBSON: What’s in there now? Do you think that does that? Do you want it out?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think we need to make sure that any provisions that are in there are not going to trigger a trade war.
Provisions like these almost always lead to far more negatives than positives. Â For example, following the pattern often seen with what is essentially protectionism in the form of a government subsidy (not a “direct subsidy” in the classical sense, but that’s not important), a studyÂ showed that these provisions would indeed create roughly 1,000 jobs in the US Steel industry. Â This, unfortunately, would be at the cost of as many as 65,000 (read “65 times as many”) jobs in other US industries as a result of increased input costs.
Also of note: the provision is, uh, illegal under WTO rules. Â Way to go, guys.
Kudos to Obama for not giving into protectionist pressures coming from Congress. Â Forgive them, Barack, they know not what they do.
(Via Marc Ambinder)