Considering the Effectiveness of “Buy America”

Some interesting points to consider here – and further evidence that governments face enormous obstacles when attempting to pick winners and losers:

“Politically, most voters like the idea of U.S. businesses getting a first pass, so Buy America laws are an easy sell. But that goodwill stretches only so far: If Bangladesh produces textiles at rock-bottom prices, it’s hardly logical to spend taxpayer dollars buying far more expensive uniforms simply because they’re made in the U.S. Many states even have laws in place demanding that contracts go to the lowest competent bidder. Which are why, in practice, Buy America laws have so many loopholes. If they had more bite, they’d lose their appeal pretty quickly.”

[“Buy America’ Laws: Feel-Good Politics, Little Real-World Impact,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 5/24/2013]

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