Friday, January 30, 2009

"Buy American" rule has Canadians Hatin' on Obama

Buy AmericanReading the hundreds of comments about the "Buy American” rule on, it seems many Canadians are placing all blame on Barack Obama - and on those whose political values lean more to the left.

A few commentators even felt the need to say things along the lines of: Haha! I told you! Barack Obama is just like Bush! All you lefties got fooled!

I have 3 responses to those comments:

1) It’s been less than two weeks since the man was elected; Bush had eight years.

2) There’s no need to label all lefties as suckers for believing in and wanting change after the last eight years. Can you really blame them?

3) Even if the US protectionism bill goes through, it’s less likely Canada will be significantly affected since

  • we share a pretty big border with the US
  • we supply most of their petroleum oil and natural gas – among other things
  • as Industry Minister Tony Clement stated, the US would be in violation of its treaty obligations
  • people and businesses in the US would be in more trouble than they already are

I can’t lie though. It is worrying that such a bill might get passed, and that the Canadian government might have to bully our way out of that jam with a "Buy Canadian" bill. Not that buying Canadian is a bad idea; it just seems like it would only be done out of spite.

The upside to this fiasco is that Obama hasn’t signed anything yet. But until and if he does, he’ll be hearing a lot of complaints from more than just his right-wing critics.

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