'Buy American' rules would help US economy prosper
Regarding the Feb. 4 editorial, "Buy American, buy a trade war": While this commentary makes some valid points about international trade, I do not believe we can continue with our present policies, which allow the US marketplace to become a dumping ground for the products of every other country.
Every year we import more than we export. There are numerous domestic reasons for the inequity, including greedy business managers and out-of-control labor costs. However, there are also too many unfair trade policies practiced by some international trading partners over which the US has no control. Think currency manipulation and subsidizing of exports. We must either right these trading policies or initiate our own.
Energy independence would go a long way toward correcting the imbalance, but if such a policy is ever implemented, it will take decades to make some difference.
I disagree with portions of this editorial. We need a strong American economy. We have not had one in many years, due in part to free-trade acts with various countries that have cost us well-paying manufacturing jobs and substituted lower-paying service jobs in their place.
When I buy a product, I look first to buy American because when I do, I am more likely to find quality, customer service, and accountability in it. In addition, "Made in USA" frequently means higher standards for labor and the environment than other countries have.
My tax dollars will be used to revive the American economy. I expect that companies receiving my tax dollars will attempt first to buy American. I support trade, but trade is supposed to be a two-way street.
The United States used to be a massive industrial power. But our labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s was circumvented when Congress allowed corporations to ship production jobs overseas to avoid paying for a living wage, healthcare, and environmental protections.
We are a country reduced to minimum- wage service-industry jobs without healthcare or benefits, selling items produced overseas, going into massive debt to maximize the profits of a few. Bring back "Buy American." I would gladly pay a marginal increase in cost to know we are keeping jobs in America.
Palestinians missed a chance
In regard to the Feb. 4 Opinion piece, "George Mitchell and the end of the two-state solution": The Palestinians have had ample opportunity to establish their own state, but have refused to come to peaceful terms with Israel. The West Bank settlements are one consequence of the Palestinians' unwillingness to accept Israel.
As for the checkpoints and barriers that Israel has built along its borders: Does author Sandy Tolan suppose the Israelis set them up simply to annoy Palestinians? No. If Hamas and other groups had not sent suicide bombers and others into Israel to kill, there would be no need for any checkpoints or barriers.
All too often, complaints about Israel's actions in Gaza stem from the same source: Some people do not think Israel has the right to defend itself. Does Mr. Tolan believe that, too?
Vero Beach, Fla.
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