The Spectacle Blog

Smoot-Hawley Lives

By on 6.7.09 | 11:30AM

As I wrote previously, it seems as if the disastrous Smoot-Hawley protectionist statute has been quietly revived. Protectionism has come back to America, and only now have we begun to notice.

Predictably, the Canadian Federation of Municipalities has endorsed a plan to support communities that refuse to buy products from countries that slap trade restrictions on Canadian products and services, Reuters reports:

The measure is a response to a provision in the U.S. economic stimulus package passed by Congress in February that says public works projects should use iron, steel and other goods made in the United States.

The United States is Canada's largest trading partner, and Canadians have complained the restrictions will bar their companies from billions of dollars in business that they have previously had access to.

"This U.S. protectionist policy is hurting Canadian firms, costing Canadian jobs and damaging Canadian efforts to grow our economy in the midst of a worldwide recession," said Sherbrooke, Quebec, Mayor Jean Perrault, also president of the federation that represents cities and towns across Canada. [...]

It's only going to get worse.

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