As this Dispatch will outline, Buy American policies are a first step in promoting an alternative to the trade and deregulation policies that fueled the current economic crisis. Ultimately, we need policies that strengthen local tools for economic growth at home, combined with fair trade policies to raise wage standards abroad as well. Also, as corporate interests increasingly use trade agreements to restrict state authority to protect worker, consumer and environmental interests, states are increasingly reviewing those trade agreements in order to restore states' ability to effectively respond to economic crises and protect the long-term interests of working families.
This Dispatch outlines the expanded SCHIP program, which is not only important for individual families but also should be a critical part of state economic recovery plans. The new law increases SCHIP funding by $44 billion over the next 5 years. This is on top of the "baseline" of $5 billion annually, bringing the total to $69 billion -- double the amount made available to states in 2008. These billions of dollars represent new health care jobs and spending for states that take full advantage of the program.