“Doesn't anyone remember the Smoot-Hawley tariffs? Everyone's worried about another Great Depression, but no one seems to recall why it became Great (as opposed to just a bad recession): an enormous drop in international trade as the result of protectionist measures, just like Buy America!
Right now exports are one of the only parts of our economy that have yet to fall off a cliff. What do you think our trading partners would do if we expand the Buy America rules? Many are just looking for an excuse to impose "protections" of their own, the end result of which would not be to protect workers but to impoverish all citizens.
We need to recognize such proposals for what they are: isolationist. Gee, come to think of it, that was another upshot of the Great Depression, wasn't it? And we all remember what happened as a result. Does anyone really want to go there? That may not have been the intent of those sponsoring the legislation, but it would surely be the result.
My organization proudly signed on to the business letter protesting the new proposals. A lot of comments are questioning our patriotism. I think what someone really needs to do is look at who benefits from expanding Buy America (a very few companies) and who doesn't (quite a lot of us).”