Dell: Stimulus package can be improved

Michael Dell says he's concerned about the "buy American" provisions in a U.S. stimulus package.

An economic stimulus package going through the U.S. Congress has provisions that could start a trade war and fails to address U.S. competitiveness, Dell's chairman and CEO said Tuesday.

A provision requiring projects funded by the stimulus package to use U.S.-made equipment and materials could prompt complaints to the World Trade Organization and could lead other countries to erect trade barriers on U.S. products, said Michael Dell. "You run the risk of protectionism," Dell said at a Northern Virginia Technology Council event. "Trade wars are very, very dangerous, particularly in the economic situation we find ourselves in right now."

Many Democrats have defended the "buy American" provisions in the Senate's US$890 billion stimulus bill, which would require that all materials and equipment used in projects funded by the bill be made in the U.S., with an exception when the U.S. materials would drive up the project's cost by more than 25 percent. The provision will benefit U.S. industries, said Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat and author of the provision.

"If we want to stimulate the American economy and create new jobs here, we ought to be investing in American-made products with the stimulus money," Dorgan wrote in a USA Today opinion article. "If the goal of the economic recovery plan is to create American jobs, then it stands to reason that the Buy American provision is essential. My language simply says that any public works or public building projects -- such as roads, bridges, tunnels or schools -- funded by the stimulus bill should be built with American-made steel, iron and other manufactured goods."

Dell also told his audience that another major concern he has with the stimulus package is that it largely fails to address U.S. competitiveness with the rest of the world. Congress should focus more on improving the U.S. education system, cutting corporate tax rates and allowing U.S. companies to hire foreign workers, he said. The House of Representatives version of the stimulus package does include $41 billion for school districts, including money to repair schools and install computers.

Dell and several other large tech companies have argued that the U.S. should allow more foreign workers to be hired each year. However, the company announced the layoffs of about 1,900 workers in Ireland earlier this month while it shifts European manufacturing to Poland.

"The one word that is missing from this is competitiveness," Dell said of the stimulus plan. "To me, that's a really big issue. If we're not competitive, we've only put a band-aid on the problem."

However, some parts of the stimulus package are on target, Dell added. The tech provisions, including $6 billion for broadband deployment, are needed because the U.S. is falling behind other countries' broadband capabilities, he said. Several nations in East Asia have fiber-based broadband covering their countries, Dell said.

"We need fiber to the home," he said. "That's what everyone will realize that broadband is."

Tags Dellglobal recession

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?