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Stimulus Strings

Stimulus Money in HandThe American Recovery & Reinvestment Act has pledged 787 billion dollars to help jump start the ailing economy.  Six billion has been set aside for Water & Wastewater infrastructure projects.  On paper that sounds like a win-win scenario for the Water & Wastewater community and their suppliers.  However, bureaucratic red tape and statutes, like the Buy-American clause, have created more questions than answers and are slowing down the process.  At first glance, Buy-American sounds like a great idea, after all it’s our tax dollars being spent, but what qualifies as American made?  We already know Domestic doesn’t really mean 100% Made in America. So is it going to be 90, 80 or even 50 percent that’s acceptable and how will it be enforced?    

Stimulus StringsFor most of us in the valve industry, at least a portion of our valve’s components are imported and a percentage of our finished product is exported.  So as we all scramble to ascertain the actual percentage of foreign made components in each of our products, I wonder, is it good to have the government involved in our business, or should they just set policy and let us take care of business?  After all, what benefit really comes from rising costs due to the increased governmental paperwork and where does protectionism STOP?  Can we expect retaliation for our trading partners?  Most likely, so what is the answer?  I believe we need an up-to-date industrial policy that truly fosters small business growth and streamlines the process. We need available funding sources for working capital and flexible banking policies; not the pigeon holed political policies of the past.  We need to recognize that a strong industrial base is crucial to our remaining a prosperous nation. 

Robert Melani

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3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."


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