Consequences of "Buy American" provisions

Obama is succeeding in making both the US and Canada poorer. Great job.

WASHINGTON -- On paper, Tom Pokorsky would seem to be a clear beneficiary of the government's $787 billion economic-stimulus package.

Mr. Pokorsky runs Aquarius Technologies Inc., a company in Port Washington, Wis., that makes equipment to treat sewage. The stimulus plan earmarks some $6 billion for municipal wastewater projects that are right in his company's sweet spot.

But the bill's Buy American provisions -- meant to give U.S. companies a leg up on foreign competition -- are causing Aquarius and other U.S. companies a lot of grief with both suppliers and clients in Canada.

Now that grief has boiled over into a major diplomatic row with the largest U.S. trading partner. Canadian communities angered by perceived American chauvinism have started a Buy Canadian campaign to exclude U.S. bidders from municipal contracts.

"If that sticks, well, there goes 25% of my business," said Mr. Pokorsky. "To me, Ontario may as well be Indiana."

Halton Hills, a town of 50,000 people about 25 miles west of Toronto, is one of about a dozen Canadian communities forging ahead with plans to amend their procurement policies to freeze out American companies. "We won't be taking any products from any country that is discriminating against us," said Mayor Rick Bonnette.

Officials in Washington and Ottawa are scrambling to avoid an all-out trade war. Even so, Buy American guidelines are complicating life for American companies, muddling municipal bidding procedures and blunting the overall effect of the stimulus. . . .

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Blogger Harry Schell said...

Obama's inablity to resist pandering to unions and others filling his pockets will produce what Smoot-Hawley did, rade wars which made the 1930's Depression "Great".

Cap+Trade and naionalizeing healthcare will both further bankrupt the country by diverting job creation energy and money into government largesse for favored groups.

A two iter US economy may emerge, where governement and those connected to it do fine, and the rest crater, like Mexico or Argentina.

If Obama and cadre are really so smart, there is not much else to conclude except that they are getting the results they want.

9/16/2009 9:38 AM  

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