Diary

Hurts So Good

This account of the current G-7 meeting contains the following hopeful passage concerning the G-7’s intent regarding the issue of free trade:

Amid signs some are attempting to shield domestic companies and workers from the fallout, the G-7 said it “remains committed to avoiding protectionist measures, which risks exacerbating the downturn.”

Sounds lovely. It is then followed by this:

A $787 billion package of tax cuts and spending increases passed two nights ago by the U.S. Congress encourages companies to “Buy American.” France is demanding carmakers keep production at home in return for aid.

Sounds significantly less lovely. Of course, protectionist measures undertaken by France can be dealt with under th auspices of the WTO and the rules it has promulgated. Why, however, was it necessary for the Obama Administrationa and Congressional Democrats to exacerbate economic tensions by resorting to destructive protectionist measures of its own?

Perhaps the Administration and its Congressional allies are merely angling for a condemnation to be issued concerning the protectionist measures found in the hastily-passed–comprehended-by-no-one-who-voted-in-favor-of-it stimulus package. I had no idea that that the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress might masochistically desire the issuance of communiqués finding fault with their policy initiatives, but in the event that they do, they should certainly get what they ask for.