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February 14, 2009

"Buy American" Provision Is In the Final Spendulus Bill

"Softened", supposedly, because it also gives discretion to waive the protectionist provision if a waiver is in the "public interest" or if necessary to preserve international trade agreements.

The dispute has put Obama in a difficult position. While campaigning last year, he raised questions whether U.S. trade agreements contained sufficient protection for labor and environmental standards. He has warned recently, however, about antagonizing trading partners and has made clear that passage of the overall stimulus bill is needed urgently to mend the U.S. economy.

In several television interviews last week, he said the stimulus package should not include protectionist language that could trigger a trade war. But now that it does, he is likely to sign it anyway. The measures appear, however, to give the administration discretion about how to implement spending decisions, given the requirement of meeting trade obligations.

The EU, Canada, and Mexico have trade deals that allow their companies to bid on U.S. government contracts with the exception of transportation and infrastructure projects. So everything is awesome, right!

Thanks to Dave in Texas.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:25 PM

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