Democrats start trade war--Alienate allies
Caterpillar is already suffering from the Democrats refusal to approve the Colombia Free Trade Agreement where the tariffs are currently in excess of 20 percent on goods made in the US. The Smoot-Hawley Democrats are trying to recreate the trade wars of the Great Depression. It is like they are eager for things to get worse.
The EU trade commissioner vowed to fight back after the bill passed in the House of Representatives late on Wednesday included a ban on most purchases of foreign steel and iron used in infrastructure projects.
The Senate's version of the legislation, which will be debated early next week, goes even further, requiring that any projects related to the stimulus use only American-made equipment and goods.
The inclusion of protectionist measures has quickly raised hackles in Europe.
Catherine Ashton, the EU trade commissioner, said: "We are looking at the situation. The one thing we can be absolutely certain about, is if a bill is passed which prohibits the sale or purchase of European goods on American territory, that is something we will not stand idly by and ignore."
Despite the parlous state of the US economy, some major American firms, including General Electric, are also opposed to the Buy American stipulations, fearing reprisals from overseas and further damage to the global economy.
Bill Lane, government affairs director for Caterpillar, which has just laid off nearly a fifth of its 112,000 work force and is the tenth largest US investor in Britain, warned it was a dangerous step.
He said: "We are the first to recognise that if the US embraces Buy American then the whole notion of buying national will mestastasize and limit our ability to take part in overseas projects.
Wasn't Obama supposed to make the Europeans love us again? That does not seem to be working out too well. It want be long before demonstrators will be urging the US to bring back Bush.