June 18, 2009

"Buy America" Meets "Buy China"

The hoopla in American opinion pages, er, media on Beijing's "Buy China" direction for government procurement smacks of hypocrisy to this writer. President Obama allowed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to maintain its "buy America" provisions and has publicly stated that he believes the $1 trillion spent every year on defense should adhere to "buy America". Further, the Obama administration is caving to US manufacturers in anti-dumping cases involving non-government procurement by US importers.

Fact is, the USA federal government under W and now Obama has failed year after year to pressure Beijing on its commitment to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. Could it be because Uncle Sam is reluctant to give up his protectionist prerogative too?

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