Sunday, February 08, 2009

Buy American Clause: President Obama’s Unilateral Socialism Worsens US-EU Relations

Europeans blamed American unilateralism when the Iraq War broke out. They expected that the Democrat candidate Barack Obama would heal the transatlantic rift. Now, the European public and global media need to face the cost of irresponsible criticism to the Republican administration.

President Barack Obama announced that a new protectionist policy, called the Buy American Clause, would be applied to his economic stimulus plan. Some leaders in the United States and overseas criticize Obama’s clause a new kind of Smoot Hawley Tariff Act. When the Iraq War broke out, liberals in America and across the globe said “Hatred causes hatred in return.” President Obama is endorsed by these liberals who believe that love regardless of national interests and ideology leads to unify citizens across the world. In reality, the Great President is proposing protectionism to provoke retaliatory protectionism.

Senator John McCain would have never remarked such a narrow view pointed policy, had he become the President. McCain is an ardent advocate for the League of Democracies. He would have respected American allies much more than Barack Hussein.

It was British Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson who criticized this protectionist clause first. Lord Mandelson comments “This, if we do nothing, will lead to a new form of protectionism, a retreat of globalisation and a reduction of trade and cross-border activity that will be followed quickly by the old trade protectionism of the past. This is a time not just for individual, national measures to deal with the crisis. This is the time for the world to come together as one” (“Mandelson condemns Obama 'Buy American' call as protectionism”; Times; January 31, 2009). Secretary Mandelson says such de-globalization "un-welcome, undesirable, and unnecessary" (“Jeremy Warner: Do as we say, not as we do when it comes to protectionism”; Independent; 31 January 2009).

The bill raises a serious concern across EU member states. Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado said "We want to underline the responsibility of government to avoid this protectionist, xenophobic, nationalistic trend" (“EU attacks 'Buy American' clause”; BBC News; 3 February 2009).

The Buy American Clause will inflict a significant influence beyond US-EU relations. Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, warned against the “dangers of sliding into isolationism and tit-for-tat measures, which have proven so devastating in the past" (“WTO Seeks to Curtail Protectionist Measures”; Washington Post; February 7, 2009). Gary Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at The Peterson Institute for International Economics said that the U.S. action "will be seen as a license to other countries to do their own protectionist measures. The U.S. has always preached open markets and open trade. And now the United States is violating its international commitments." He insists that the bill costs more new jobs than it creates (“Analysis: Buy-US clause draws fire abroad”; Washington Post; February 4, 2009).

Do you want to see America like these?

O Hail Obama


Apparently, President Obama does not respect the role of hegemonic state, that is, the guarantor of free trade and liberal world order. It is not the lack of experience that undermines his qualification for the leader of the global superpower, but his creed is extremely questionable for his job.

Criticism to President Obama comes from home as well. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell demands the President modify the bill and include Republican ideas (“Top Republican: Scrap 'buy American' stimulus clause”; AFP; February 3, 2009).

President Obama must understand that America’s best products use imported appliances, and this creates more employment in the United States. M1 tank, which is the pride of the US Army, uses British designed armor and German gun. Without them, a substantial number of American workers will lose their jobs. America needs crème de la crème products from Europe and Japan, and vice versa.

Those who were fascinated by Obama simply because of annoyance with Bush’s cowboy diplomacy are naïve. They were mesmerized, and did not think of the consequence. It is desirable that current cabinet staff change the President into the real leader of the superpower. Will he defend our free trade and liberal world order? Well, President Obama went on the razzle-dazzle with pop entertainers during the Ukrainian crisis…….