When the U.S. added modest "Buy American" provisions to the February stimulus bill to help keep (some) U.S. assistance in the U.S. economy, people cried foul.
--"A classic protectionist measure," charged Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.) chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
-- "The worst instincts of Congress," declared the Wall Street Journal.
--"Counterproductive," accused the Chamber of Commerce.
But while the U.S. dithers, the rest of the world is moving ahead on its own terms. The New York Times reports, "China Builds High Wall to Guard Energy Industry."
Energy is key to the new economy of the future - key to end our dependence on foreign oil, advance new technologies and create new jobs. "We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century," explained President Obama in his February address to a joint session of Congress.
But leadership takes more than just hard work, technology or innovation. It takes place in a real world that isn't always fair.
China is positioning itself for that leadership role. Just as Japan and South Korea sheltered their domestic automakers from American competition until they developed skills, products and economies of scale, China is shielding its clean energy sector while it matures and grows. The New York Times reports: