Steel wars Thursday January 29, 2009, 4 comments

The “Buy American” provision bars spending on any infrastructure project “unless all of the iron and steel used in the project is produced in the United States.

From an article on Yahoo news.

It is my opinion that this will be used as both a stick and a carrot to force Canada to bow to pressure from the USA., most likely where foreign and economic policy of the two countries are different, or where a possible North American Union is concerned. Canada currently sells 40% of the steel it produces in the United States via the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Reminds me of the softwood lumber crisis a few years back. Has Canada been paid the fines levied against the USA by the WTO yet?


Comments

sarah Thursday January 29, 2009


Seriously disappointing behaviour, and it’s upsetting more than just Canada. I’m surprised at Obama, taking a line like that. He was bound to trip up, but sooner rather than later and such a serious reversion to American flaunting of the agreed rules whenever it suits them?

Adrian Thursday January 29, 2009


It’s interesting, cos I understand why they’re doing it – it’s a simple way to maximize spending on infrastructure.

But unilaterally decided on a course of action that flaunts international obligations that the country has agreed to seems a poor example to countries with less friendly relationships to the US.

If this is how they treat their friends in times of difficulty, how are they going to treat those that are less than friends?

Would you want a friend like that?

Daniel Black Saturday January 31, 2009


I’m more or less from a steel town. Many of the folks in my family in the next oldest generation, and older, owe their livelihoods to a steel company (Armco => AK Steel). My older kids’ mother lives in Middletown, and the city’s falling to abscess, not solely but significantly because AK Steel can’t support the population anymore. My kids are stuck in a failing school system, where there is no budget for art classes for many or most grades, for instance. Art classes are phenomenally underappreciated.

But lots of people all over the world are in similar circumstances; and Middletown’s situation is probably within their means to amend. Still, I understand the logic. If the U.S. economy is the canary and a substantial proportion of the motive power for the world economy, buying and selling only within the U.S. border isn’t dissimilar from putting your oxygen mask on before helping the person seated next to you. Circle the wagons and dress wounds before heading back out to the front line.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple; and this isn’t itself justification for countermanding existing treaty agreements. I wonder, though, if there isn’t some middle ground? Would it be better for Canada if your companies did the same, but for a prescribed temporary period? Yeah, I know: maybe a little too rosy. But, given “[a]bout 40 percent of Canadian steel is sold in the United States and Canada imports steel from its southern neighbor,” I’m thinking there’s room for improving logistics.

sarah Wednesday February 4, 2009


So I’m confused. It now appears that this is not ‘President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan’, but is in fact congresses version of it? And (at least this is happy news) Obama is now slamming that clause? I am, admittedly not with great surprise, led to conclude that there has been some shockingly bad journalism going on in the name of sensationalism.

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