Coalition Letter to The President Opposing the Buy American Provisions
February 4, 2009
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As companies and associations with major operations and millions of employees across the entire United States economy, we strongly share your objective to promote economic recovery through a robust economic stimulus package that brings the maximum benefit to the U.S. economy, its companies and workers. To achieve that recovery, we urge you to ensure that stimulus legislation not include the unnecessary and trade-restrictive Buy American expansions currently being considered.
At this critical juncture, the United States must lead the world out of protectionism, not into it. The proposed House and Senate expansions of already robust Buy American laws send the wrong message at the worst possible time to our trading partners around the world and to markets nervous about rising trade barriers.
The proposed Buy American expansions go against the spirit and letter of our binding international commitments in the World Trade Organization and numerous bilateral agreements. They flout the commitment to refrain from new trade restrictions, which the United States led the G-20 to adopt less than three months ago. They invite our trading partners to retaliate by closing their own markets. In so doing, they risk creating a downward protectionist spiral that will hurt millions of American workers who rely upon global engagement for their jobs through exports, foreign direct investment and imports. In short, the proposed Buy American expansions would have the effect of costing – not protecting – American jobs, surrendering the United States' historical leadership in safeguarding the global economy, and ultimately making the global economic crisis worse and longer.
U.S. law already contains carefully-crafted Buy American provisions that secure access of U.S. domestic suppliers to our government procurement markets. The proposed expansions would serve only to impose additional costs on the U.S. Government and U.S. taxpayers, creating not more, but fewer American jobs and less economic stimulus for the United States.
Mr. President, events of the past year make plainly evident that we are in a global economic crisis, for which protectionist measures are no solution. We look forward to working with you to ensure that these proposals are eliminated from the final stimulus packages so that we can grow our economy once again.
The ACE Group of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Aerospace Supply Chain Solutions, LLC
AgustaWestland North America Inc.
Axcelis Technologies, Inc.
BAE Systems, Inc.
Boston Scientific Corp.
Case New Holland Inc.
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Dassault Falcon Jet
The Dow Chemical Company
Eastman Kodak Company
Finmeccanica North America, Inc.
Forsberg International Logistics, LLC
General Electric Company
International Bancshares Corporation
International Bank of Commerce
Lexmark International, Inc.
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Manitowoc Company Inc.
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
NEC Corporation of America
Nestlé Waters North America
Nestlé Purina Petcare
Panasonic Corporation of North America
PCS VacDry USA LLC
Philips Electronics North America
Pinkerton Government Services, Inc.
The Procter & Gamble Company
Spirit Electronics, Inc.
Stone Construction Equipment, Inc.
Texas Instruments Incorporated
Trimble Navigation Limited
Unilever United States
United Technologies Corporation
US Trading & Investment Company
Volvo Group North America
The Advanced Medical Technology Association
Aerospace Industries Association
American Business Conference
American Chemistry Council
American Council of Engineering Companies
American Meat Institute
Associated Builders & Contractors
Associated Equipment Distributors
Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
The Associated General Contractors of America
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Brazil-U.S. Business Council
Business Software Alliance
California Chamber of Commerce
Canadian American Business Council
The Coalition for Government Procurement
Coalition of Service Industries
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Computing Technology Industry Association
Consumer Electronics Association
Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition
Emergency Committee for American Trade
European-American Business Council
European Council of American Chambers of Commerce
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Hong Kong-U.S. Business Council
Information Technology Industry Council
International Wood Product Association
Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce
National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones
National Association of Manufacturers
National Defense Industrial Association
National Electronic Distributors Association
National Foreign Trade Council
Ohio Alliance for International Trade
Organization for International Investment
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International
Semiconductor Industry Association
Software & Information Industry Association
Technology Association of America (formerly AeA and ITAA)
Technology CEO Council
Telecommunications Industry Association
United States Council for International Business
US-ASEAN Business Council
U.S.-Bahrain Business Council
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
US-China Business Council
U.S.-India Business Council
U.S.-Korea Business Council
U.S.-Pakistan Business Council
U.S.-UAE Business Council
Washington Council on International Trade