The Economic Policy Institute has quite the informational reality check on precisely why Catepiller, GE and the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce are working so hard to strip from the Stimulus anything which remotely....creates jobs in America:
Multinational companies such as General Electric and Caterpillar, and their allies in the Chamber of Commerce, are attacking “Buy American” provisions included in the economic recovery bill passed by the House on January 28th. They claim that these provisions will provoke a “trade war” with foreign governments, but foreign governments have long histories of supporting their own domestic companies. These companies are self-interested, simply wanting unlimited access to imports, many of which are illegally subsidized and unfairly traded. U.S. and foreign multinational companies (MNCs) were responsible for nearly two-thirds of all U.S. imports in 2006, as shown in the chart below. U.S. firms led the way with $678 billion in imports, 36.4% of all U.S. goods imports. Foreign MNCs pulled in an additional $482.4 billion in goods, 25.6% of the U.S. import bill.
EPI isn't alone in pointing out these multinational corporations simply want to continue offshore outsourcing the jobs and import the goods. Tonelson spells it out for us as well:
The counter-attack against Buy American proposals clearly is underway. There are lots of reasons to worry about this campaign to beat back measures to require high U.S. content standards in all U.S. government stimulus programs and other measures to support American business (like the auto rescue package).
After all, the counter-attack is coming from the exact same interests that have benefitted hugely from outsourcing and the global economic crisis it produced by hollowing out domestic manufacturing and the rest of the U.S. economy's wealth-creating sector.
Despite these disastrous results, these folks still have massive resources at their disposal. They're still major players in economic policymaking circles despite the Democratic party takeover of Washington. And of course, their views still dominate mainstream media coverage of these issues.