In a recent editorial, the editors of the Economist say, ''Hey, knock it off with all the economic nationalism, will ya?''
I'm guessing they know more about economics than I do, so I'll bow to their superior knowledge here. It doesn't hurt that I also live in a town that makes steel to sell to the US. What the Economists are refering to are the provisions in the stimulus cash-bomb that say, ''Hey, don't use any of this money to buy stuff from foreigners, you hear!''
Such provisions have been unsurprisingly popular with the AFL-CIO, and it's easy to understand why people don't want their tax money going to Canadian companies. We'd just spend them money on poutine and hockey tickets. However, it's damn near impossible to get out of a recession by starting a trade war. Adam Smith used to argue against this sort of protectionism [or mercantilism, as it was once called] because, if you make your money by trading stuff, you want to keep trading, and make trade as easy as possible for everyone. Duh.
Incidentally, he also argued that the government should keep a close eye on capitalists to prevent them from running amok, but nobody ever seems to rememeber that part!