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The ghosts of Smoot & Hawley walk amongst us

26/01/2009

Apparently the House added a protectionist clause to the Obama stimulus last week which major US exporters fear will lead to retaliatory measures by other countries.

Already the protectionist French are seeking to tie aid to their companies with conditions which surely must be illegal under EU law, but as always the French will ride roughshod over EU provisions.

Tim Groser and others are right to worry.

The noises made at G20 and elsewhere over free trade and Doha are proving to be meaningless.

It would appear that the lessons of history may not have been learned. To Adam’s dismay it would appear that the ghosts of Smoot-Hawley have risen and are now walking abroad in the US and elsewhere peddling their nonsense yet again.

God forbid that the world embarks on trade wars at this time.

Let us not forget as well that the depression of the 1930s exacerbated many tensions in Europe and elsewhere leading to WWII.

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4 Comments
  1. lucy permalink
    27/01/2009 08:22

    I was prepared to give Obama the benefit of the doubt as I thought that he may find himself in the same position as the Lange government back in ’84.

    You know how Lange, Douglas et el found the country and were obliged to forgo most of their leftist philosophy to get the country out of trouble.

    The rest of course is history and ended in NZ adopting the free market ideals. (I thought the nuclear ban along with other lefty policies were stupid but thats another story)

    I thought OBama after finding himself in a similar situation may adopt the same type of stance.

    I was a little heartened when I heard him speak on his energy policies (BBC news this am) and use the economy and the reliance on foreign oil that funds terrorism as the reason for his policy, before mentioning climate change.

    However this protectionist clause does not bode at all well.

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  2. adamsmith1922 permalink*
    26/01/2009 22:36

    Unfortunately, I fear he will not veto the stimulus bill – which apart from everything else is loaded with measures which will not kick in for sometime.

    Indeed some have described it has a pork fest

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  3. 26/01/2009 20:50

    Not we’ll see if Obama has the balls and intellect for the job.. through the power of the Veto.

    Heh. It’s not the Orc with the sword in front of you that you need to fear.. it’s Frodo at the back 🙂

    JC

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