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'Buy American' critical to US economic recovery - AMTAC
22
Jun '09
Pointing out that the United States is mired in its worst economic recession since the Great Depression and that:
• the United States has lost 6 million non-farm jobs since December 2007 and U.S. non-farm employment is lower today than it was in November 2000;
• U.S. private sector employment is lower today than it was in November 1999;
• U.S. manufacturing employment is lower today than it was in June 1941;
• U.S. manufacturing has lost 5.35 million jobs in the last decade, including 1.57 million in the last year;
• in April, the United States suffered its first 10-year drop in industrial production since 1929-39 while the U.S. resident population increased by an estimated 36.5 million people (13.5 percent growth) during the same time period;
• the United States ran a $30 billion current account deficit with Canada in 2008 and has run a cumulative $331 billion current account deficit with Canada since 1998;
• the United States ran a $673 billion current account deficit in 2008 and has run a cumulative $5.85 trillion current account deficit since 1998;
• combined U.S. household and federal debt stood at $24.9 trillion at the end of 2008, doubling since the bursting of the dot.com financial bubble in 2000; and,
• the combined U.S. and federal household debt of $24.9 trillion was 175 percent of the $14.2 trillion U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the end of 2008;

American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) Executive Director Auggie Tantillo said, “'Buy American' is critical to U.S. economic recovery. The only way for the U.S. economy to climb out of recession is for people to start buying more American-made goods and services, including the U.S. government.”

“By holding a joint press conference today with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters to decry the 'Buy American' provisions in the stimulus, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is effectively suggesting that America needs to buy more Canadian to dig out of our economic hole. That position doesn't pass the U.S. economic interest laugh test,” Tantillo continued.

“The U.S. Chamber in Washington should change its name to the 'Chamber for Offshoring U.S. Jobs' to properly reflect its policy positions,” Tantillo added.

“Main Street thinks that buying American is a great idea. Outside of Washington, D.C. and Wall Street, the average American understands that the $787 billion stimulus package will not create jobs if it is used to buy foreign-made goods. They know that running up trade deficits causes more job losses,” Tantillo continued.

“Just because some of the Chamber's multinational members are put in a spot of difficulty doesn't mean that the United States should reverse its 'Buy American' policy. What is good for one company or even a handful of companies is not necessarily what is good for the rest of the U.S. economy,” Tantillo said.

Tantillo also noted that the stimulus package was written in a manner consistent with U.S. international trade obligations and that Canada's trade agreements also explicitly allow them to exclude U.S.-produced goods and services from Canadian government procurement.

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