Protectionism not the answer

It is interesting that during the Bush Administration there was a cry out of Seattle that the USA needed Obama to be elected to restore the condition where the rest of the world likes us. Well, the Obama Administration has been in office for less than a hundred days, and it is already considering the policy of America buying American-made goods.

Just recently, Rep. John Murtha, with Rep. Norm Dicks next to him, was speaking to the choir at Boeing when he said the USA needs to buy American-made Boeing Air Force tankers instead of the favored, partially American-made Airbus tankers. I question how that policy will endear us to the rest of the world.

In addition, Gov. Gregoire has had radio ads pleading to Washington citizens to buy Washington-grown apples and other Washington products versus products made by fellow American citizens who happen to work in other states. I question how that would make our neighbors in such places as Idaho, Oregon, and British Columbia like us.

A pattern seems to have developed and I think that, in the end, the effects of adopting protectionist legislation, which now seems to be the economic policy du jour, will soon remind people of the repercussions such a policy had on America (the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930). The effects of worldwide retaliation with higher tariffs on American-made products made things worse and the Democrats came to the rescue by changing tariffs. Maybe it’ll be the Republicans on the white horse this time to make the world like us.

Thomas Markley, Bellevue