After watching the “Story of Stuff” video and reading the Cradle to Cradle book, I was interested in learning more about how buying “stuff” impacts our environment and our economy. I found a very interesting article about the stimulus bill and new clean technology. With the downturn in our economy the government passed a stimulus bill to encourage people to buy more, which would boost our economy. What many people do not know is that in that stimulus bill was a “Buy American” regulation. This regulation states that everything must be bought in America using the stimulus money. While buying locally does help the environment and economy, the “Buy American” regulation has some very bad consequences for the implementation and progression of “energy-saving building technology.” Not only are companies not able to produce energy-efficient technologies (due to the fact that most circuits and parts are built overseas), but also it is possible for trade partners to retaliate and “90% of the world's consumers live outside of the United States, which remains one of the world's three largest exporter.” While the environmental benefits of a “Buy American” regulation are obvious, the fact that it takes away from advances in clean technologies and causes economic problems shows that the “Buy American” plan is not working. Instead of a large corporate “Buy American” regulation, the government should take this opportunity to help local governments provide information about buying locally in their communities, which would be more beneficial.
For more information visit the web site: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2009/11/11/buy-american-bad-america