Well Done, Joe

Posted by scapozzola on 01/31/2009

ManufactureThis wants to give a serious thumbs-up to Vice President Biden for his comments this morning regarding both U.S.-China trade and 'Buy American' issues.  In an interview with CNBC, the Vice President gave a firm statement regarding unbalanced trade with China: "The policy of this administration is to say to China -- which occasionally the last administration was reluctant to do -- 'you're a major player on the world scene economically and you've got to play by the rules that everybody else plays by.' " Then, when asked about a "Buy America" steel provision in the $825 million economic stimulus bill, the Vice President responded, "I don't view that as some of the pure free traders view it, as a harbinger of protectionism. I don't buy that at all. So I think it's legitimate to have some portions of buy American in it."   As far as ManufactureThis is concerned, these are major quotes from Vice President Biden regarding both trade with China and the ‘Buy American’ issue.  It gives cause for optimism.  On China, our key point has long been that the U.S. needs to enforce its existing trade laws—to address dumping and illegal practices on the part of any of our trade partners, including China.  And so, the Vice President sounded like he was quoting from our playbook. And as for ‘Buy American,’ we agree with him.  If one were to look at the "Visclosky amendment" passed by the House (which requires American-made steel and iron in any infrastructure work), the actual language of the provision is completely consistent with U.S. trade obligations.  It follows all the rules.  And so we say Good Job, Mr. Vice President for giving it some legitimacy. ManufactureThis will continue to track these issues quite closely.  The Senate is currently considering its own version of an economic recovery bill, and one that may include 'Buy American' provisions extending to a wider range of U.S. manufactures.  Such a move would make terrific sense since, as a recent AAM report has noted, increased domestic procurement in infrastructure investment could significantly boost the creation of new U.S. manufacturing jobs. Big times in Washington.

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