“Buy American?”: Buyer Beware!

Source: Brendan Smith, Global Labor Strategies, March 2009

In this post we open a thread on ways to avoid both destructive economic nationalism and failed corporate globalization. We start with a little known history — the reactionary history of Buy America campaigns in the US, which are driven by the same impulses that pushed for Buy American provisions in the stimulus package. This history, as revealed Dana Frank’s book Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism (Beacon Press, 1999), teaches us that steel magnate Dan DiMicco represents a great American tradition: the very business leaders who have demanded that American workers Buy American have often secretly sought foreign assets and played workers around the world off against each other in a never ending race to the bottom.

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