Dan Froomkin on what Obama could do to goose the economy -- without Congress
Yesterday, Huffington Post columnist Dan Froomkin outlined six ways in which the Obama administration could successfully speed up an economic recovery, and avoid Congressional gridlock altogether.
One of Froomkin’s suggestions is something we’ve been touting for years: "Tell China to stop currency manipulation, and mean it."
Though President Obama had some strong things to say about China’s illegal currency manipulation during an Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Candidates' Forum in April 2008, he’s taken a markedly weaker stance since entering office. Despite the fact that S.1619, a bill that would address China’s mercantilistic trade policies, passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support, the Administration has refused to label China as a currency manipulator.
As Froomkin explains, “It’s really Obama who's holding it up. He has said he prefers dialogue with China. Indeed, the Obama administration, like its predecessors, seems to think a less confrontational approach will bear fruit.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. We agree wholeheartedly with Froomkin on this—it’s time for President Obama to crack down on China’s cheating in a very real way.
Another action step that we can get behind is Froomkin’s suggestion that the Administration should launch a "Buy American" And/Or "Buy Local" campaign. Though President Obama voiced his support for Buy America in a speech last August as well as amidst the 2009 auto bailouts, Froomkin points out that:
“beyond that, the only four times Obama has even used the phrase "Buy American" -- according to the GPO compilation of presidential documents, at least -- were in reference to Canadian and Mexican concerns about provisions in the stimulus bill. He's never encouraged the public to do anything of the sort.”
If President Obama were to really push a Buy America campaign, the resulting economic benefits could be significant. As AAM demonstrated in a February, 2010 study, Buy America is a job creation tool that enjoys broad support from the American people and hundreds of local governments throughout the United States.
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