So is it “Buy Local” or “Protectionism”?

Everybody thinks “Buy Local” is great – until they no longer qualify as local. In this case, it’s Canada.

Obama’s new jobs act states in a section headed “Buy American — Use of American Iron, Steel and Manufactured Goods”, that “…none of the funds made available by the American Jobs Act may be used for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.”

Suddenly instead of “Buy Local” such ideas are referred to by the Canadian powers that be as “Protectionism”.

Our politicians are currently trying to find out what this clause in the jobs act means and are assuming we are exempt. It won’t matter what the politicians say – individual Americans will decide for themselves who to buy from. This behavior on the part of the politicians reminds me of a scene from Contagion; a bureaucrat asks if maybe someone has weaponized the bird flu and the character played by Laurence Fishburne replies, “Someone doesn’t have to weaponize the bird flu, the birds are doing that.”

As the slow motion collapse of the European Union shows there is no longer any “us and them”. As Greece goes, so goes the union. We Canadians are in the same boat as the Americans. As globalization gradually shifts into reverse more and more Canadians will also come down with a case of “Buy Local”. It’s going to spread. Only in this case it’s something you need to get.

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