Pelosi denies that the stimulus bill is a cry for protectionism, even though it stipulates that everything must be contracted out to domestic suppliers. She asserts that “we want [the people] to be assured that we’re looking out for their interest as we look to grow the U.S. economy.” She then asserts, “I don’t think that’s protectionism.” How is she looking out for “their interests” by “protecting” them from foreign suppliers? What she described is the definition of protectionism, and we mustn’t fall prey to that selfish, ignorance-derived mentality.
International trade protectionism brought the whole world to its knees in the Great Depression of the previous century and triggered the ultra-competitive nationalism (economic self-interest) that pulled millions of the most desperate and destitute behind the most destructive war machines of human history. In a vain effort to protect its domestic industries and workers from international competition, each country enacted exorbitant and punitive trade restrictions that strangled the global economy, making recovery that much more difficult to achieve. It was only with the resumption of favorable trade (albeit done out of desperation) between the Allied nations involving foodstuffs, commodities, and war supplies that the full effects of the Depression began to recede.
I am relieved that the countries of the G7 assured the world that each is committed to open trade, even if just in word. But the “Buy American” provision of the American Stimulus Package is a step in an extremely dangerous direction. I hope Congress amends that provision before the bill is signed.