are in real trouble
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator
2009 -- Now we are in real trouble. We've lost the markets for textiles,
cameras, radios, TVs, steel, electronics, computers, communications equipment,
machine tools, advance technology, robots, steppers, etc.
that we produce has now been bought up by foreigners. Big Blue, IBM and
the Hummer to China; Westinghouse Nuclear and all of its patents to Japan;
Bell labs and all of its discoveries to France; Bethlehem Steel to Russia;
Genentech to Switzerland. And we can't prepare for war. Boeing's fighter
planes depend on parts from India and Sikorsky for its helicopter must
get its tail motor from Turkey.
We begin a program to stimulate American production and American jobs.
But in April President Obama signs a declaration against protectionism
at the summit of the big nations. And now The New York Times editorializes
"'Buy American' is a terrible idea." You would think that having
to get a Mexican loan to keep The New York Times going would have sobered
them up from their mantra of "free trade" and "protectionism."
Our trouble is most in the Congress believe The New York Times. Yet Congress
is our only hope.
The United States of America was begun in a trade war against the Mother
Country's protectionism. Under the Navigation Act of 1632, England required
all production in the colony shipped back to England to be transported
in English bottoms. Furthering protectionism, England enacted the Townsend
Act with discriminatory tariffs causing the Boston Tea Party, igniting
the Revolution. Once we had won our freedom, adopted a Constitution, and
adopted a national seal, the first Congress in history, on July 4, 1789,
pursuant to Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, assigning the duty
of competing in international trade to Congress, enacted a protectionist
tariff on numerous articles. We financed and built the industrial giant,
U.S.A., with protectionism. Now, the President, the Congress, the press,
and the think tanks, all think that protectionism or "Buy American"
is a terrible idea.
Obama and the Congress must repeal the subsidy to get rid of jobs
- offshoring. ... President Obama and the Congress must enforce
"Buy American" and our other trade laws if we are to save
the economy. We are in desperate circumstance."
Ernest F. Hollings
War II we had the only industry in the free world. Fortunately, with the
Marshall Plan, American equipment, expertise and dollars, capitalism defeated
communism in the Cold War. We didn't bother to open markets and enforce
our trade laws in the Cold War. We were anxious to spread capitalism.
Of course, the financial community, big banks, and Wall Street, prospered
with the cry of "free trade" as we offshored production to Mexico,
China, and India. And Corporate America prospered too in the charade of
one-way "free trade." Now we have lost our production, our middle
class, and almost our economy, and today we're back to the beginning days
of rebuilding the nation. That's the whole idea of saving the banks, insurance
companies, and stimulating Detroit. Hopefully, we've hit the ball with
this stimulation. But if Congress doesn't wake up and follow through,
the economy is gone.
What's the matter with the President and Congress? The trouble with the
President and Congress is that there are all imbued with reelection, i.e.
the money for reelection. For example, I can do nothing about trade as
Senator and easily get the money to get reelected because under the Constitution
all trade matters affecting revenue should derive in the House of Representatives.
The Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives that handles
trade legislation is controlled by New York. Wall Street, the New York
banks, the New York brokerage houses, the New York Council of Foreign
Relations, the New York Federal Reserve, the New York World Bank, the
New York Investment Development Bank, the New York National Retail Federation,
the New York or National Chamber of Commerce, my friend New York's Chairman
of the Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel, and The New York Times
think "'Buy American' is a terrible idea."
President Obama and the Congress must repeal the subsidy to get rid of
jobs - offshoring. President Obama and the Congress must enact a value
added tax to get us competitive in international trade and pay for health
care and the government we provide. President Obama and the Congress must
impose import quotas on autos and auto parts for the stimulus to work.
President Obama and the Congress must enforce "Buy American"
and our other trade laws if we are to save the economy. We are in desperate
of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for
many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation
Committee. He is the author of the newly published book,
Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).
Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact
us for republication permission.
Ernest F. Hollings served
the public for 56 years -- 38 years in the United States Senate and as South
Carolina's governor, lieutenant governor and a member of the S.C. House of
Today, Hollings continues
to be influential in public affairs and offers this Web site as a compendium
of current and past positions on public issues. Learn
more about Fritz Hollings.
Hollings receives French honor
France honored retired
U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings on in 2013 by awarding him the Legion of Honor for
his World War II service. More.
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the new book
University of South Carolina Press in 2008 published Making
Government Work, a new book by Sen. Hollings. Learn