Ironing out trade disagreements, or…

…steeling for a fight? On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Feb. 1 Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) discussed the Congressional stimulus packages. Neither of the senators, nor host David Gregory, once mentioned the protectionist measures in the House and Senate bills. The “Buy American” issue also did not come up in the following round table discussion.
Then, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the matter was equally by ignored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John Ensign (R-NV), as well as by host John King. Canada and the rest of the world are going to have a hard time changing American political minds.
At least there was this op-ed in the NY Times:

If We Buy American, No One Else Will

It’s just that it mentions China, Japan and India–but not Canada. At least we do get noticed in this Washington Post “analysis” of the issue–in the thirteenth paragraph:

Out of Gaps In Treaties, First Salvos Of Trade War

Mark C.
Update thought: Pulling our military mission out of Afghanistan certainly won’t do much for whatever leverage we have with the new administration.
Upperdate: The EU chimes in; that may make Congress take some notice of the issue (the BBC story remarkably also gives the Canadian angle considerable space):

EU attacks ‘Buy American’ clause
The EU has increased its pressure on the US to reconsider the “Buy American” clause in the $800bn (£567bn) economic recovery package now before Congress…

Uppestdate: A nice post by Colby Cosh:

Protectionism makes no sense

When in university I wrote an essay that, amongst other things, dealt with Latin American efforts to protect “infant industries“. I still can’t see any real successes there (though Japan, South Korea and Taiwan seem to have made the strategy work–Confucianism or something). Embraer’s success, beyond good design, has been a result of subsidies, not protection–just like Bombardier.


7 thoughts on “Ironing out trade disagreements, or…

  1. We have no leverage with this administration either way. Obama is being true to form and it is not good news for Canada. But we all knew this would happen, as it was pointed out many times before the election.

  2. the is a lot of wiggle room in what the Government has said about Afghanistan:
    “end of the mission as we know it”
    We’ll still have troops there, but they’ll be specialist forces and the mission will get away from ground pounding infantry.
    No worries.

  3. During Sunday’s QP on CTV available on the CTV site, Jane Taber interviewed Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers Union President about the ‘Buy American’ plan.
    “The ‘Buy American’ plan in the U.S. may include an exemption for the Canadian steel industry, which is struggling compared to the Chinese and Russian industries.” (from the CTV site)
    In the interview, Gerard said “… as the bill now stands it has to be done consistent with American WTO obligations …”
    According to him, Canada will not be affected by the clause in the bill because of a petition to exempt Canada from Section 201, granted by Pres. Bush in 2001.
    This seems to be borne out here:
    “… Actual U.S. import figures seem to confirm the EU’s estimate to some degree, as Canada, exempted from the Section 201 safeguard action, in 2002 surpassed the EU in volume of imports supplied to the U.S. market and moved up to a virtual tie for first with the EU in value: $2.7 billion for Canada, versus $2.8 billion for the combined EU total. … ” (corrected version)
    BTW, there were a couple of barbs aimed at Jane Taber:
    JT: “Aren’t you worried about Canadian jobs?”
    Gerard: “Obviously you’re not listening to me …”
    On his union being well positioned because it supported Pres. Obama’s election:
    Gerard: “I think that your question is a bit demeaning, to tell you the truth …”

  4. Prepare the Kingdom of God is at hand. Put on the full armor of God
    Message: To show faith you follow the instructions which are Ordinances.
    1. Offer the sacrifice of repented, IHS which is repent= Name your sins to God Almighty privately in prayer in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ them IHS.
    IHS= Immerse(baptism in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost)
    Hallow= Holy
    Sanctification= free from sin
    2. While in prayer ask God for understandin so that you can Sow Seed which is Sow=to read, Seed= the Word of God Almighty
    3. Keep the Commandments and Statues they are the way of living for the righteous. Remember the Ordinances of God Almighty come and they must be done in order to prove that you have true faith. Always know that God says nothing unrighteous. He never mislead His people. If instructions you receive are contrary to His way of living remember never to do them because they are not His.
    A word of knowledge: The Name of God Almighty is Yahweh in Hebrew.
    Sin brings death
    Repentance brings life from the dead
    light means no sin(repented, IHS)
    darkness means sin(unrepented, IHS)

  5. drSuppose the U.S. put up barriers to foreign steel. What would happen?
    1. American manufacturers would have to pay more for steel.
    2. Canada manufacturers would not – indeed the international steel market might fall.
    3. Canadian manufacturers would thus gain an advantage over American manufacturers, although…
    4. Canadian steel makers would be hurt.
    American politicians might think they’re being clever, but they’re just benefiting one part of their economy at the expense of another. If I was an american manufacturer, I’d be pissed.

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