Another Problem with the Stimulus

As if there were not enough reasons to be concerned about the so- called “stimulus package” (you can read it here) now being consideration in Congress, the legislation contains “Buy American” provisions that could start a trade war. Check out this article on the reaction from Korea.
Stifling free trade — and potentially igniting a trade war — would be a great way to extend the current malaise. As one economist pointed out in the aforementioned article, “If we only buy American, we’ll probably pay more for inferior goods.” That may create some jobs for Americans in the short-term, but it will hurt our standard of living even more than the current downturn has.
The Great Depression was ignited in large part by Smoot-Hawley tariffs which imposed the highest tariff increase in US history. I hope our political leaders are smart enough not to repeat that mistake in this spending package.