I just subscribed to the Washington Post, after a dozen years in D.C., as part of my new year's resolution to "go native." So, I mostly read the Metro section.
But today I was unfortunate enough to look at the editorial page today, which I have resisted looking at ever since I worked on Latin America policy at CEPR. Here's the gross, in an editorial entitled "Obama Can't 'Buy American'":
"Buy American" sounds patriotic, but paying more than necessary for
steel diverts resources that could create jobs in other industries.
Worse, it raises the prospect of retaliation against American exporters
by U.S. trading partners. The director-general of the European steel
industry trade association already has threatened to take the United
States before the World Trade Organization if the steel provision
passes. (Notably, European stimulus programs do not bar U.S. steel or
other products -- yet.) "Buy American" would violate the Nov. 15 G-20
joint declaration, which committed the United States to "refrain from
raising new barriers to investment or trade in goods and services"
until November 2009.
We pointed out the problems with this declaration back at the time of the G-20 meeting. Obama's going to have to crush that statement and forge a new path.