Obama’s ‘Buy American’ Clause Causes EU Outrage

February 3, 2009

Europe (ChattahBox) – The EU has threatened to file an official complaint with the World Trade Organization, after a surprising clause in Obama’s stimulus package would only allow American materials to be used in the $800 billion recovery plan.

The ‘Buy American’ clause surprised many, given Obama’s rather open nature with other nations, but it was a strict restriction the president put into place, leaving the European Union furious over what they call ‘protectionism’.

“There isn’t a great deal of scope for doing much more but if America went ahead and did this we would have to take it up with the World Trade Organisation,” Peter Power, spokesman for trade from the European Commission, said in an official statement.

But it isn’t the first time such measures have been proposed. The idea of using domestic goods to fund a project based on economic stimulus is a basic one, and one that President Obama, as well as Senate leaders, are unlikely to back down on as they fight for a compromise that will allow the enormous bill to pass.

But, despite the reasons behind the action, world leaders are warning of a possible retaliation if the ‘Buy American’ clause is not rectified.

“The United States will lose the moral authority to pressure others not to introduce protectionist policies,” Canada’s ambassador to Washington warned in a recent letter to the Senate.


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