buy American

The Trade Agreement You Never Heard About - TPP

Did you know, beyond closed doors, there is a massive trade agreement being crafted? It's called TPP or Trans Pacific Partnership and this one makes NAFTA look like the stepping stone that it is. This is one bad mother.

This is a trade agreement between Chile, Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam and the United States. Japan as well as China may also join. The countries involved isn't the problem. What's being negotiated is.

As GOP Primaries Numb Your Brain, Congress is Up to More Tricks

clockworkorganbraineyedropsWhile inane campaign rhetoric lulls you to sleep, forcing you to watch reruns of shipping wars until your brain melts and flows into that puddle of lost dreams and promises, Congress has been up to some things.

Remember those outrages du jour, such as using Stimulus funds to hire foreign guest workers? Remember your hard earned taxpayer dollars being used to bring in Chinese foreign workers and Chinese steel to build the Oakland Bay Bridge in California?

A very important amendment passed the Senate and was entered into Bill S.1813, MAP-21, alternatively known as the Transportation Bill. The amendment strengths the Buy America provision by closing a loophole.

Senator Sherrod Brown on the Senate Floor:

Outsourcing the Pentagon

Did you know the Pentagon has issued 161,711 waivers to avoid buying American? buyamerican.jpg That it has cost us 620,000 manufacturing jobs and $53.5 billion dollars since 2007? So says a new report from the House of Representatives Buy American Caucus Chair, Chris Murphy.

Today, Congressman Chris Murphy, Chair of the House Buy American Caucus, was joined by local manufacturers and advocates for American manufacturing to unveil a report showing that federal policies of the Department of Defense are costing as many as 620,000 American manufacturing jobs. By issuing over 161,000 waivers to the Buy American Act, the Department of Defense has sent $53.5 billion to overseas contractors since 2007.

How in God's name could the Pentagon do this, considering the United States has a massive jobs crisis and that is, after all, U.S. taxpayer money. First, the Buy American act allows exceptions.

The Buy American Act, which has governed federal procurement since 1933, is full of loopholes and exceptions that allow billions of dollars to flow out of the country each year. Two of the biggest loopholes allow for waivers for any product that is to be used overseas, or for products in which the Department of Defense finds that there are no domestic suppliers.

But wait for it, the DoD is claiming there are no domestic suppliers when in fact there are. Some American Business are screaming political bloody murder as loud as they can about the Pentagon snub too.

Friday Movie Night - Made in America

hot buttered popcorn It's Friday Night! Party Time!   Time to relax, put your feet up on the couch, lay back, and watch some detailed videos on economic policy!


Tonight's movie is more a series and an acknowledgment. ABC News has been reporting on Made in America.

They have an entire website devoted to Made in America and they are discovering some myths that only Chinese goods are cheap enough.

Here are the first two video reports in their series.


U.S. Manufacturing, Hire America & Buy American

Want to see some damning statistics? Read this paragraph, taken from The Plight of American Manufacturing.

Manufacturing employment dropped to 11.7 million in October 2009, a loss of 5.5 million or 32 percent of all manufacturing jobs since October 2000.  The last time fewer than 12 million people worked in the manufacturing sector was in 1941.  In October 2009, more people were officially unemployed (15.7 million) than were working in manufacturing.

See what bad trade deals and global labor arbitrage bring us?

Jobs Program Redux

Obama put forth some elements of a second jobs bill. With that, I strongly suggest all those who were disappointed, disgusted with the first Stimulus, start right now pushing for legislation we need.

Here are the main elements, laid out in the State of the Union Speech.

  • Take $30 billion of the [TARP] money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit [Subsidized Small Business Loans].
  • Small Business tax credit - one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages
  • Eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment
  • Tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment

Buy American

By now you would have to live in a cave to not experience the blow back in the simple act of buying U.S. steel. This is the Buy American provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

This is not even the real issue. The question really should be why are not U.S. taxpayer funds to be used first and foremost to create jobs for U.S. workers?

Banks receiving massive U.S. taxpayer funds are firing U.S. workers while keeping temporary foreign guest workers. Why? Because they are an important conduit to offshore outsource and they are cheaper.

What is in The Economic Stimulus Bill of 2009, Part II

The post is an update to What is in the Economic Stimulus Bill of 2009?.

Tracking on Congress is like a sing along with 1 million people out of tune and out of sync. So, we'll do our best to give you the latest amendments, bill text and analysis.

The Bill

The bill title is American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The bill number is H.R. 1 (this is a huge pdf).

The Senate is working on it's own version and that bill number is S.1.

Where to find the latest amendments? Currently the 206 amendments are here.