Protectionism = Economic Crack Cocaine
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher warned on Monday against "Buy America" provisions in a proposed fiscal stimulus law and said it could lead to devastating trade protectionism.
"Let me just be blunt. Protectionism is the crack cocaine of economics. It may provide a high. It's addictive and it leads to economic death," Fisher told C-Span television in an interview for its "Washington Journal" program.
President Barack Obama seeks a $825 billion stimulus plan to end the country's yearlong recession. U.S. lawmakers are debating rules that will insist that public money is spent on U.S-made products, although the White House has already said it will review any Buy America provisions.
"We just cannot afford to go down that path and I hope our senators, Democrats and Republicans, will be very sensible on that front," said Fisher, who is not a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting committee this year.
"Our job is to maintain price stability while we engender the growth and employment of the United States ... It is a very difficult balancing act, but it can only be done if it is buttressed by sensible fiscal policy," Fisher said.
HT: Dennis Gartman