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Old 02-13-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
Yar-El
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U.S. Government Is Not Allowed to Buy American

U.S. Government Is Not Allowed to Buy American
CNBC Article - G7 Powers Head to Rome as Crisis Rages

Quote:
G7 finance ministers headed to Rome to discuss the global economic crisis on Friday with a warning from Germany that the world could be plunged back into the dark days of the 1930s if governments resorted to protectionism.

The G7 industrialized economic powers, all in recession, are under pressure to prove they can work together to stop the rot rather than engaging in a battle of "beggar-thy-neighbor," and Berlin made it clear the latter was an increasingly real risk.

"We will have to do everything to ensure history does not repeat itself," German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck told parliament a few hours ahead of the Rome meeting. "Right now, I think Germany has a huge interest in ensuring, at international meetings, that the world does not make the same mistakes it made in the 1930s."

He cited the "buy American" clause in an economic stimulus package the U.S. Congress is due to vote on just as the finance ministers of the G7 powers -- the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada -- meet over dinner in Rome.
For those of you who follow this stuff, pay attention to this particular article. Bill Clinton was responsible for this whole mess by signing the Wolrd Trade Agreement in the early 1990s. There is a legal clause that says The United States cannot buy United States produced goods and services. I will try to find the agreement for you as proof. We can be legally sued by other nations.

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MSNBC Article - Obama on 'Buy American' collision course?
President signals opposition to Democratic measure in stimulus bills

Quote:
President Barack Obama has signaled opposition to “Buy American” provisions in economic stimulus legislation now before Congress, a decision that could put him on a collision course with congressional Democrats and labor unions.

Both the $819 billion stimulus bill passed by the House last week and the Senate version being debated now, which has an estimated price tag of more than $900 billion, would require that infrastructure projects carried out under the program use U.S.-made iron and steel. The current version of the Senate bill would go further, requiring that all manufactured goods used in the projects be U.S.-made.
Quote:
But Obama signaled in an interview Tuesday that he may seek to have the Buy American requirements deleted before the legislation reaches his desk.

Asked by ABC News anchor Charles Gibson about the provision, Obama replied, “I don’t 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.”
This should get people mad. We are not allowed to invest in United States products and services due to the WTO agreements. America cannot buy American. How do you stimulate the US economy by not investing in the US economy?

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WSJ Article - Obama Risks Flap on 'Buy American'

Quote:
EU officials said Tuesday that the trade bloc would likely file a complaint at the World Trade Organization if the U.S. stimulus plan contains language strongly favoring U.S. suppliers. The problem, these officials said, is that a clause forcing Washington to favor U.S. goods, as some lawmakers would like, might violate agreements within the WTO that limit discrimination in government spending.

"We would have to look at our all options, including a WTO case, if 'Buy American' passes," an EU official said.
Its a Democrat and Republican problem. They both sold us down the tube. Too bad Obama didn't stick to his guns. He would have won some people over.

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WTO Article - Lamy: “Trade is part of the solution to the global economic crisis”

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To help WTO members have a better and real-time idea of global trends in international trade and trade policy developments, we have set up a radar tracking trade and trade-related measures taken in the context of the current crisis. Up until last Monday the radar picture showed that most WTO members appear to have successfully kept domestic protectionist pressures under control. In the meantime, a new spot has appeared with the “Buy America” provision in the draft US stimulus package to be considered by the US Senate this week.

Protection, yes; isolationism, no. Governments must provide answers to the social unrest which is brewing behind the massive job losses. This is the time to activate social safety nets, not only in rich countries because there are also poor in rich societies. But also, and in particular, in the poorer countries who do not have the means to weather the storm. The stimulus packages that have been adopted need to provide answers to those who are being left behind in this crisis.

And it is in this context that we all risk seeing trade and the WTO lumped together with the elements of the Washington consensus which many believe to have failed. With de-regulation and privatisations. And it is now that we risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Trade is the solution? We can't Buy American and try to stabilize ourselves? Do we live in the freeworld?

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MSNBC Article - Wall Street warily watches Washington, G-7
Investors hoping G-7 finance ministers find a way out of the morass

Quote:
Investors also turned their gaze towards the Group of Seven gathering in Rome on Friday, expectant that economic leaders from the United States, Canada, Japan and other major industrialized nations will come up with some clear, specific ways to repair the global financial system at a meeting this weekend.

The G-7 will discuss new rules for financial markets, as well as concerns about protectionist measures in stimulus plans. Big breakthroughs might be more likely, though, at the broader, 20-country summit in April.
I guess there are people above the President's head. Does the President have a say, or is he just a figure head sitting home? G7 is going to tell you what you can invest in. It won't be American. Is anyone else ready for a Revolution?

Last edited by Yar-El; 02-13-2009 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
For those of you who follow this stuff, pay attention to this particular article. Bill Clinton was responsible for this whole mess by signing the Wolrd Trade Agreement in the early 1990s. There is a legal clause that says The United States cannot buy United States produced goods and services. I will try to find the agreement for you as proof. We can be legally sued by other nations.
Err, no, the state can't be sued for buying American goods and services in itself, what it can be sued for is if it requires the goods and services it purchases to be American.

Quote:
This should get people mad. We are not allowed to invest in United States products and services due to the WTO agreements. America cannot buy American. How do you stimulate the US economy by not investing in the US economy?
By investing in the US, the economy isn't too bothered if a bridge is built by a Chineese firm, as it'll produce the same result, including jobs (with the exception of some management jobs), for a lower price.

Quote:
Trade is the solution?
Yes, and I sugest you read some basic economics if you think trade hurt the economy.


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We can't Buy American and try to stabilize ourselves?
Stabilize? As in the stabilization brought by a protectionist spiral?

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Do we live in the freeworld?
Yes,where you should have equall oportunities whether you are an Egyptian or American company.

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Does the President have a say, or is he just a figure head sitting home
Obama comes from the Chicago school of economics, I'm fairly certain his protectionism was just a vote winning strategy.

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G7 is going to tell you what you can invest in.
Nope, just that you can't discriminate against producers based on nationality.

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It won't be American.
It will, if American companies are better than their compettetors.

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Is anyone else ready for a Revolution?
Sure, in my current country.

Congratulations Obama, If you prevent the "buy American" bill from passing, you might be remembered as the guy who prevented protectionist hell if nothing else.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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Well said, Murphon.

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Old 02-13-2009, 07:28 PM   #4
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So, what's the WTO going to do if we buy American? Sue us in world court? Good luck getting that paid even if they won the suit. The US buys American goods all the time. This isn't going to change.


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Old 02-13-2009, 07:38 PM   #5
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Wait is Halliburton an American company? Does this mean we can't use the bailout money to pay $45.00 for a case of Coke?
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:20 AM   #6
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@Jae: the government buying american=fine, the government requiring what it buys to be american=competition killing bad for both the US economy and the world.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
So, what's the WTO going to do if we buy American? Sue us in world court? Good luck getting that paid even if they won the suit. The US buys American goods all the time. This isn't going to change.
I believe they can apply sanctions on oil, exports, and imports.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yar-El View Post
I believe they can apply sanctions on oil, exports, and imports.
I highly doubt that would happen. Both the US and the global oil industry would greatly suffer, since both are dependent on the buying and selling of oil to thrive. Not to mention, the US has a quite considerable military force, more than enough to intimidate countries that won't trade with them.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:36 AM   #9
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The WTO is unlikely to sanction the US, so don't worry. Worry instead about seeing "Buy insert country name here" bills, along with increased subsidies, import taxes etc popping up around the world, if that happens, we'll be experiencing the Great Depression 2.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mur'phon View Post
The WTO is unlikely to sanction the US, so don't worry. Worry instead about seeing "Buy insert country name here" bills, along with increased subsidies, import taxes etc popping up around the world, if that happens, we'll be experiencing the Great Depression 2.
There were talks about sanctions during the Bush Administration. I don't know what resulted from the mess.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:46 PM   #11
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Nothing resulted, and it wasn't much of a mess, in short, the US (and countries afraid of pissing off the US) have so much power that sanctions are next to impossible.
Now, would you kindly adress the points in my first post? I'd like to know what good you think the "Buy American part" of the bill (or a revolution for that matter) would do.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mur'phon View Post
Nothing resulted, and it wasn't much of a mess, in short, the US (and countries afraid of pissing off the US) have so much power that sanctions are next to impossible.
Now, would you kindly adress the points in my first post? I'd like to know what good you think the "Buy American part" of the bill (or a revolution for that matter) would do.
I needed some time to make this clear -

My apology for the delay, but the forum timed me out. I was writing a reply to your question, and the forum said I was too idle for too long.

Buying America in general is important, so we can create domestic innovation, jobs, and exports. Domestic innovation is important for security reasons. Our military needs modernized ways to effectively fend off terrorists, communists, and other threats. Foreign companies who create American military products can easily sell our secrets to other countries. We are also concerned about relying on foreign oil. Creating new domestic means for resources can help sustain the environment and our military might. Our resources will no longer be held hostage by foreign countries who disagree with our policies. We will also make a whole new job sector based upon innovating transportation technologies. Communication and science innovation can also go towards our space and medical race. We are currently falling behind in science and mathematics; thus; investing in American companies can create an atmosphere of temptation. Foreigners are currently coming to the United States for education, and then they are gong back to innovate their own countries. We can get them to stay here instead. Why should we not compete to keep them here? We can show them it is more rewarding to stay here than to go home. Blue collar jobs are our biggest export. We need the government to invest in rebuilding our agricultural and industrial sectors, so we can create jobs for the American people. We don’t have jobs for the average Jane and John Doe. People working in the production department of transportation sectors are loosing their jobs to low paid foreigners. We need to reward companies for staying American, and raise taxes on foreign companies who don’t promote American.

I’m not sure if anyone knows this – We currently have domestic electric companies being controlled by China; thus, turning them into a foreign based company. I think that is alarming.

We also have local state capitals opening up offices in China, India, and Japan. Local governments have become international lobbyists. Where did that come from? Government officials don’t believe in the American way of life; thus, they go to other countries to gain revenue. I don’t call that patriotic. Do you?

We might as well just call our country – The United International States of America.

Our new word for the next century is sustainability. It should be self-sustainability. I know the internet makes a borderless world; however, the reality is that it is a bordered world. United States is an island with borders, and they need to be enforced by investing in ourselves. Your other choice is to become a third-world country. Buy American or become the next Roman Empire. Complacency is death.

------

I wrote this post thinking that I'm talking to an all American audience. I know I'm not.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Yar-El View Post
Buying America in general is important, so we can create domestic innovation, jobs, and exports.
Not always, but you're right on some parts.
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Domestic innovation is important for security reasons. Our military needs modernized ways to effectively fend off terrorists, communists, and other threats.
The US military has plenty of enough advanced weaponry to destroy the world several times over in several minutes. There's no need for more weapons to commit even more senseless violence.

Oh, and communists? Communists??? Please...
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Foreign companies who create American military products can easily sell our secrets to other countries.
Yes, they've been doing that for years. Heckler & Koch sells weapons to nearly every country in the world, and no one in the US has ever given a damn.
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Our resources will no longer be held hostage by foreign countries who disagree with our policies.
Of course, the US has always had a wonderful policy invading other countries who have different ideals. Cuba, Colombia, Iran, etc. have all been targets of US "intervention", they've always ended up with brutal dictators who were eventually removed by revolutionaries.
Quote:
We will also make a whole new job sector based upon innovating transportation technologies. Communication and science innovation can also go towards our space and medical race. We are currently falling behind in science and mathematics; thus; investing in American companies can create an atmosphere of temptation.
No, I believe that the education system needs to completely gutted and then reformed to actually promote a higher education system.
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Foreigners are currently coming to the United States for education, and then they are gong back to innovate their own countries. We can get them to stay here instead.
How? You can't make them do anything.
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We don’t have jobs for the average Jane and John Doe.
BS to the maxxx. There are thousands of jobs that people would be willing to do, if not those businesses who going bankrupt.
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People working in the production department of transportation sectors are loosing their jobs to low paid foreigners.
Wait, do you mean immigrants? I'd question that in a heartbeat.
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We need to reward companies for staying American, and raise taxes on foreign companies who don’t promote American.
That won't do a thing, they'll just move somewhere, further screwing the American economy.
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I’m not sure if anyone knows this – We currently have domestic electric companies being controlled by China; thus, turning them into a foreign based company. I think that is alarming.
Source.
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We also have local state capitals opening up offices in China, India, and Japan. Local governments have become international lobbyists. Where did that come from? Government officials don’t believe in the American way of life; thus, they go to other countries to gain revenue. I don’t call that patriotic. Do you?
The government has little to do with this; it's all about the corporations. The government can be blamed for doing nothing about it. And the term "patriotic" is so overused.
Quote:
Our new word for the next century is sustainability. It should be self-sustainability. I know the internet makes a borderless world; however, the reality is that it is a bordered world. United States is an island with borders, and they need to be enforced by investing in ourselves.
If you're trying to promote pre-WWI isolationism, then you're waaaay too late to start that now.
Quote:
Buy American or become the next Roman Empire. Complacency is death.
So it's an ultimatum? Buy American or prepare to be invaded.

Oh, and I'd rather live in Rome than America; at least they were economically stable.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:26 PM   #14
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PastramiX -

Article - Foreign Ownership of U.S. Infrastructure

Cliping -
Quote:
What foreign entities are most invested in the United States? What do they own?
The country with the most holdings in the United States is the United Kingdom, followed by Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. At the end of 2004, the sum of all foreign assets in the United States had an estimated market value of $2.7 trillion, though only 2 percent of these holdings are owned by state-run companies. Foreign companies' holdings are most concentrated in the manufacturing sector, but they also extend into several of the eleven "critical" areas identified by the Bush administration. In the energy sector, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, and Venezuela's state-owned Citgo all have holdings within U.S. borders. Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson are major telecommunications providers; French-owned Sodexho U.S.A. is the largest food service company in the United States, and even serves meals on Marine Corps bases; and the largest private security firm operating in the United States, Securitas, is based in Sweden.

Middle Eastern entities (excluding Israel) bore the brunt of the ire surrounding the Dubai Ports World purchase. These entities account for about 0.5 percent of foreign investment in theUnited States. However, these companies have some high-profile holdings, including New York's Plaza and Essex House hotels, the Caribou Coffee Co., and the aircraft manufacturer Cirrus Industries, Inc.
There was a mess of media coverage over a years ago on the subject mater. There are more companies; however, I have to find those old articles.

Last edited by Yar-El; 02-14-2009 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by PastramiX View Post
Oh, and I'd rather live in Rome than America; at least they were economically stable.
And they had a lot of legal prostitutes

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Old 02-14-2009, 05:33 PM   #16
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And they had a lot of legal prostitutes

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Old 02-14-2009, 05:40 PM   #17
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Domestic innovation is important for security reasons.
I asume you are just talking about the military here?

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Foreign companies who create American military products can easily sell our secrets to other countries.
And domestic ones can't? Besides, what qualify as an American company? Does it have to have all operations based in the US?

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We are also concerned about relying on foreign oil. Creating new domestic means for resources can help sustain the environment and our military might.
All nice and good, however this technology would be far easier and cheaper to get if it was done by investing in the most promissing ones allready being researched, no matter their nationality.

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We will also make a whole new job sector based upon innovating transportation technologies. Communication and science innovation can also go towards our space and medical race.
And who is going to pay for theese new jobs, the goverment? Anyway, I'm not really sure I get what you have in mind, is it a simple expanding of government funded research?

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We are currently falling behind in science and mathematics; thus; investing in American companies can create an atmosphere of temptation.
Investing in American companies just because they are American gives those companies less of an incentive to be as efective as possible, while at the same time pushing other countries to adopt their own protectionist measures. You are familiar with the protectionist spiral, right?

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Foreigners are currently coming to the United States for education, and then they are gong back to innovate their own countries.
After paying a lot of money, which alows Americans to get the same education cheaper.

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We can get them to stay here instead. Why should we not compete to keep them here? We can show them it is more rewarding to stay here than to go home.
You allready are, trust me, most of those interested in good money stay. However there will always be someone who wish to return home for reasons such as: wishing to help their country, seeking a career in politics etc.

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We need the government to invest in rebuilding our agricultural
It's allready heavily subsidised, why would you rebuild something that's working the way you seem to want it to?

Quote:
and industrial sectors so we can create jobs for the American people. We don’t have jobs for the average Jane and John Doe. People working in the production department of transportation sectors are loosing their jobs to low paid foreigners. We need to reward companies for staying American, and raise taxes on foreign companies who don’t promote American.
A global economy means each country specialize in what they have a comparative advantage in, the US have a highly skilled workforce, so using them to manufacture cheap goods seem like a huge waste. In adition, do you honestly think people would be willing to pay many times more for products just because they are made in the US? Besides, by favoring domestic firms you are reducing competition by a fair bit, and along with it, inovation and eficency, which means that in the end the US is likely to fall behind in technology in the areas protected. Lastly, this would definetly trigger the protectionist tailspin, which would mean a change from rescession to depression.

Quote:
It should be self-sustainability. I know the internet makes a borderless world; however, the reality is that it is a bordered world. United States is an island with borders, and they need to be enforced by investing in ourselves. Your other choice is to become a third-world country.
Would you mind listing some of those wonderfull and successfull self suficent countries?
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:37 PM   #18
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Down here in Australia we have a "buy Australian" campaign which a lot of people try to push pretty heavily... mostly because most of the Australian grown companies have been bought out by US companies.

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Old 02-14-2009, 09:33 PM   #19
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With all of the labor being farmed out to near-slaves in China.

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Old 02-14-2009, 09:34 PM   #20
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Doesn't it kinda depend on the definition of "American" products. I mean while Toyota is a foreign nameplate, the Camry is more American than the new Chevy Impala. They employ American workers. They buy American supplies. Heck they are even more loyal to their workers than the US nameplate manufacturers.
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