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."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags global recessionDell

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

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?