Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let the Fun Begin

Washington Post - Trade Wars Brewing...

excerpt: ""No one appears to be more concerned than America's largest trading partner -- Canada.

Initial concern north of the border over the buy American provisions died down after a clause, supported by the administration, was inserted in the bill clearly stating that the measure would not supersede existing U.S. trade obligations. During his Feb. 19 trip to Ottawa, Obama additionally pledged to avoid protectionism.

As passed, the act keeps that pledge, White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. "The president is committed to creating jobs in America and committed to global engagement with our trading partners and does not see any contradiction between those two goals," she said.

But in recent weeks as federal authorities drafted broad guidelines for implementing the law and hundreds of states and towns have begun preparing for stimulus-related projects, Canadian companies have been surprised to discover that while some federal contracts are still open to Canadian materials and equipment because of trade treaties, most of those issued by state and local governments are not.""


""

As a result, John Hayward, president of Hayward Gordon, a Canadian manufacturer of pumps used in water works projects, says U.S. towns, including Peru, Ind., have told him that they can no longer buy his Canadian-made products.

"We're not China. We're not even Mexico. We have the same relative cost of labor as you do," he said. "If we have a better price, you should buy from us. That's what competition is supposed to be about."

To stay in business, Hayward is considering moving some manufacturing operations to the United States, potentially creating jobs here. That, Peru Mayor Jim Walker notes, is what the stimulus was supposed to be about.

"You're trying to get America turned around, trying to put Americans back to work," Walker said. "And if American taxpayers are paying for this, well then, Americans deserve the benefits.""

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On a totally different note, I want to say that today is May 20 and it is snowing. I woke up to a WIND CHILL factor of -2C. I can't help but wonder sometimes if we SHOULD be trying to warm the planet with our putrid emissions. Maybe that will put off the impending ice age for a little while. Good - no?

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