Stimulus Update: Democrats Bend on Buy American Amendment…
The Declawed Buy American Amendment passes, it leaves things status quo, will Labor notice? We shall see…we need the language of the bill analyzed to see WTH it does exactly since Dorgan seems so chipper, is he trying to sell Labor into believing something has changed?! Or is there an alligator under the water lurking in this bill….
Senators agreed by voice vote tonight to clarify that the “Buy American” provision in the Senate’s version of the stimulus package should comply with existing treaties.
Then they rejected by a 31-65 vote a proposal by Sen. John McCain to strip the “Buy American” language from the bill. There is no such language in the House-passed stimulus.
McCain warned that the “Buy American” requirement for stimulus funds has “echoes of the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act,” which many believe exacerbated the Great Depression.
Byron Dorgan D-NE challenges fate to strike trade, what an idiot IMO:
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., the chief “Buy American” cheerleader said, “Both Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley are dead. … But this amendment is part of a debate that is alive on the floor of the Senate and across the country. Twenty thousand people a day are losing their jobs. Twenty thousand people a day.
Well that’s a relief, and a trade war against the global economy averted…
The vote expected tonight, via Forbes:
The U.S. Senate planned to vote late Wednesday on a softened “Buy American” plan as part of its nearly $900 billion economic stimulus bill, after President Barack Obama expressed concern the original language could trigger a trade war.
The proposed amendment adds language requiring that Buy American measures that have upset Canada, the European Union and other trading partners be “applied in a manner consistent with U.S. obligations under international agreements.”
The Senate was also expected to vote on an amendment offered by Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, that would prohibit any of the stimulus package funds from being subject to a Buy American requirement.
Congressional leaders, trying to quell a dispute over “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus package, are crafting a version that would apply only when they don’t violate trade rules, according to industry officials and a congressional aide. The lawmakers are reacting to a demand by the White House that the provisions satisfy U.S. obligations under the World Trade Organization.
Well it is always nice when we comply with out WTO and Trade Agreements ain’t it? Sheesh. MiM previous post on Smoot Hawley and Protectionism here….
The House Ways and Means Committee’s Democratic staff and aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, are working out the language, said a lobbyist who was briefed on the measure. The people familiar with the talks declined to be identified because the talks are confidential.
You know who is gonna be pixxed?, that’s right Labor. The very Labor that elected Teh One and demonstrated outside the Capitol today for EFCA/Card Check.
Obama told ABC News yesterday that he didn’t want any Buy American provisions that would violate trade rules.
“We need to make sure that any provisions that are in there are not going to trigger a trade war,” he said.
Now that Team Obama is in charge we at MiM bet Larry Summers and Judd Gregg will prevail over Hilda Solis and Pelosi, the same way Bob Rubin prevailed over Robert Reich in the Clinton Administration..IOW no EFCA, unless they plan to self destruct the economy…..
Steel companies, such as U.S. Steel Corp. and Nucor Corp., and labor unions are pushing language in the stimulus plan to mandate that projects use American-made iron, steel and other manufactured goods in building projects such as roads, bridges and tunnels.
“We’ve always said this doesn’t violate our trade laws,” said Robert Baugh, executive director of the Industrial Union Council at the AFL-CIO. “If they need to restate it, fine.”