15 May 2009

Sweet: Stimulus Sparks War with Canada

Protectionist tariffs may have been the talk of the town 100 years ago when industrialized nations were intentionally dumping their extra leather Bluchers or whatever, but unless you're Pat Buchanan, you probably comprehend the benefits of free trade in the 21st century. That's why the "Buy American" clause finagled into the stimulus was called a really lousy idea by various economists and our allies, and it was certain to spark a trade war.

But now that the "Obama Bucks" from the stimulus are working their way down to municiplaities, Canadian businesses are pissed that they're getting the cold shoulder. From WaPo:

Outrage spread in Canada, with the Toronto Star last week bemoaning "a plague of protectionist measures in the U.S." and Canadian companies openly fretting about having to shift jobs to the United States to meet made-in-the-USA requirements. This week, the Canadians fired back. A number of Ontario towns, with a collective population of nearly 500,000, retaliated with measures effectively barring U.S. companies from their municipal contracts -- the first shot in a larger campaign that could shut U.S. companies out of billions of dollars worth of Canadian projects.
Great. Legions of people donning hockey masks and Rush shirts are going to give us an ass-whooping, eh. What is most disconcerting is that Obama knew this animosity was coming, but let it pan out anyways. Just as he knew the country would be under crippling debt, but went ahead with most crass spending ever to give the American people all the shiny new unicorns he promised.


Elizabeth said...

I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about people donning hockey masks and Rush shirts givin' y'all any kind of ass-whooping.

Naw...we'll just cut off your oil supply. Heh Heh

Ah, it's nice to have leverage.

LogicallyLocked said...

I got my unicorn! That's all I care about really.

Lisa said...

You forgot about The Guess Who and Gordon Lightfoot.

The Canucks don't so ass-whuppuns, but they'll send the Mounties out after you, but they will stop at the border.

Americans are so crass. . .

subrookie said...

As much as I love Canada, I've worked there, visited there, and used to spend my free dollars there, but as an American citizen try getting a work visa there. It is far easier for a Canadian to work in the states than it is for an American to work in Canada.

My firm just got some work for a Quebec firm working near Montreal. They have similar rules about spending and how it has to be with a Canadian firm. We are now a 3rd sub-contractor on a project that it is obvious that they don't have enough specialists to fix the problem within Canada.

Contrast that with the dozens of Canadians I know in the Seattle area working for Microsoft, my firm, etc. Not a two way street.