`Buy American`—or Bye-Bye America

"British jobs for British workers!"
thundered Gordon Brown, as he emerged
from the shadow of

Tony Blair
to become prime minister.

His populist sloganeering has now
come back to bite him.

Across Britain, thousands laid down
tools in wildcat strikes in solidarity with a walkout
from a

French-owned oil refinery in North Killinghome
protest a $300 million contract to an Italian company
that plans to bring in 400 Italian and Portuguese
workers to fulfill it.

As Brown pleaded from the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Britain must
not retreat into
"protectionism," strikes spread to Scotland, Wales and Ulster.

Britain`s commitment to let
foreigners buy up its utilities and industries and bring
in foreign workers to run them has backfired. Brown`s
own Labor Party is now angrily demanding that he live up
to his pledge: British jobs for British workers.

"The Return of Economic Nationalism,"
wails the alarmed cover of
The Economist
. And understandably so.

For the stimulus bills of both
Houses have a
"Buy American"
provision mandating that in
"public works"
only U.S. iron, steel and manufactures be used. The
provision came out of the appropriations committee of
the House on a 55-to-0 vote.

The Senate watered it down by
declaring the Buy American provision must be consistent
with all U.S. trade commitments. But Congress is sending
a message: The rebuilding of America is to be a project
of, by and for Americans, not outsourced. Sen. McCain`s
free-trade amendment, to strip all Buy American
provisions from the bill, was routed 65 to 31

The reaction of Barack Obama, a
NAFTA skeptic in 2008 with bumper stickers that read,

"Buy American, Vote Obama,"
was to genuflect to
the gods of globalism and recant his economic

"I think it would
be a mistake … at a time when worldwide trade is
declining, for the United States to start sending a
message that somehow we`re just looking out after

Fox News. We don`t want to
"trigger a trade
he told ABC.

Apparently, Obama was unnerved by
rumbles from Europe, which is threatening to drag us
before a

World Trade Organization
tribunal and have
"Buy American"
banished forever.

But there is no easy way out now
for a Democratic Party where economic nationalism is
rampant. If Congress drops or Obama refuses to enforce
the Buy American provision, and billions of stimulus
dollars are spent on foreign iron, steel and cement,
Middle America will know whom to blame. But if Americans
get the contracts, and Europeans get nothing, Europe
will have to decide whether to retaliate and start a
trade war with a populist and nationalist America.

We may be at a turning point in
history. For we are about to choose whether to fully and
finally cast our lot with globalism, or to become again
a nation and people who put Americans first.

We are about to decide, perhaps for
all time, whether we believe in a deepening
interdependence leading to one world government, or we
restore the independence won for us by the men on Mount
Rushmore: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore

All four were economic
nationalists. All would today be decried as
protectionists. For all believed that the nation`s
independence and prosperity hung upon its ability to
stand alone in the world, and that foreign goods should
never enjoy as privileged access to America`s markets as
American goods made in the U.S.A.

All four put America first. And it
was they who created out of 13 rural colonies the
greatest manufacturing power in history. Is not their
record superior to what Bush-Clinton-Bush left us: a
hollowed-out industrial nation dependent on foreigners
for the needs of our national life and for the loans to
pay for them?

Even John Maynard Keynes came
around in 1933 to believe in

"national self-sufficiency."

Those who prattle about the perils
of protectionism need to be asked: What has free trade
produced, but a bankrupt America that must go
hat-in-hand to Beijing to borrow the money to rebuild
our crumbling infrastructure? Are we also to use Chinese
iron, steel and cement because they, with their Third
World wages, will work for less than our fellow

As for Europe`s threat of a trade
war, bring it on!

We would eat their lunch. As

Charles McMillion
writes, in eight years of Bush,
Canada ran up $500 billion in trade surpluses at our
expense, Japan ran up $600 billion, the European Union
$800 billion.

These three trading partners, often
by imposing value-added taxes on U.S. imports, and
rebating those taxes on goods sold here, racked up $1.9
trillion in trade surpluses, sucking jobs, factories and
technology out of the United States. These trade
deficits, and the even larger ones with China, says Paul
Volcker, are behind our present crisis.

America is bust. It is shameful to
have to go to China and Japan to borrow the money to
rebuild America. But to go to China and Japan and borrow
billions, and not spend the money here, makes zero

We have indulged in free trade for
a quarter century. And look where it has gotten us.



Patrick J. Buchanan


no introduction
to VDARE.COM readers;
his book
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
is Churchill,
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,



Paul Craig Roberts.