Obama abandons the McCain Amendment

More on the fallout from the stimulus, and Obama’s failure to defeat “Buy American” legislation in the Congress (again). While it was watered down, it still goes the wrong-way with respect to international trade and commerce:

Obamas pyrrhic victory on the stimulus package By Phil Levy | Shadow Government
On the international front, the bill portends trouble. The original excesses of the Buy American clauses were trimmed back, but President Obama missed a golden opportunity. Had he embraced Sen. John McCains amendment to remove the clause, he would have demonstrated bipartisanship, assured the world that America was not embracing protectionism, and still retained existing legal authority to direct some contracts toward domestic producers. Instead, Sen. McCains amendment was defeated. The remaining clause sends a bad signal, allows protection, invites retaliation and risks provoking numerous trade disputes.

Except in security, where it does well, Obama’s administration’s main themes have been an allergy to addressing social issues (which is fine) and a general incompetence (which is also fine).

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