Why in the World is the G20 Meeting in Pittsburgh?
The G20 apparently has a sense of humor, or irony at least. The leaders of the world's most important economies will be meeting this fall in Pittsburgh. Uh huh, Pittsburgh. A lot of people are asking something along the lines of "What, was downtown Baltimore booked?" But I'm wondering: Why is an organization dedicated to international development meeting in America's national mascot for steel subsidies? Isn't that a bit like a group of Mormon organizations gathering in Las Vegas?
Real Time Economics says the U.S. chose Pittsburgh (unemployment rate: 7.6) to bring some much-needed business to a suffering city. But isn't 7.6% below the national average? You want to bring much-needed business to a suffering city near New York, try Philadelphia (employment: 9.7%).
Instead, the G20 is treated to an excellent hotel window view of a city that once benefited from the United States' steel subsidy. Now look, maybe Obama's just playing a sly game. Just two days ago, China was freshly accused of dumping steel, seeing as its crazy high subsidies are allowing the country to ramp up steel production as global demand slows. In that case, maybe Pittsburgh would be an appropriate place to have an honest discussion about the impact of steel subsidies on developing and emerging markets. Or perhaps we're just bringing the Chinese Minister to [the] Three Rivers so Steelers' safety Troy Polamalu can get him in a headlock until China makes concessions on protectionism.