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Nucor Steel: Buy American Stimulus Clause Good or Bad for Economy?

February 15th, 2009

american 60 Minutes ran a story tonight featuring Nucor Steel, the largest steel manufacturer in the US. Dan DiMicco, the CEO of Nucor, pushed for a “Buy American” clause in the $787 billion stimulus bill that would require American made products to be used in new government funded projects. The idea is that we want to create jobs in the US, not Europe of Asia. Makes sense right?

The flip side to this is that other countries might follow suit as a result and will stop buying American products in favor of products made in their own countries. For example Caterpillar, the world leading supplier of construction equipment, gets 75% of its business from overseas. If other countries retaliate the “Buy American” clause could end up causing more harm than good.

It’s an interesting dilemma but I’m of the opinion that the buy American clause is good. I don’t think we have as large an effect on other countries economic policies as we think. Surely the worst case scenario is that we don’t have a buy American clause and other countries buy domestic anyways.

What do you think? Will buying American end up being good or bad for our economy?

To watch the 60 minutes video on Nucor visit this link.

Money News

  1. Eve
    February 16th, 2009 at 10:40 | #1

    Sounds an awful lot like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, an attempt to stave off the Great Depression by raising the tariff on imported goods so that people would buy American goods. Other countries raised their tariffs, international trade plummeted, and some think it exacerbated the depression. It’s definitely the reason Hoover got voted out of office and Roosevelt got voted in.

  2. February 16th, 2009 at 12:48 | #2

    Very good point Eve.

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