‘Buy American’ Irks Europe

Here’s a stimulus rebuttal from an unlikely corner: The European Union is up in arms over a Buy American provision in Obama’s bill. They worry the clause, which would require companies to use US steel and manufacturing products in projects the bill funds, could unleash a corresponding wave of protectionist measures from other countries. The stimulus, say EU officials, may be in violation of the Government Procurement Agreement, under which government contracts must be open to foreign companies. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also attacked the Buy American clause, saying: “I don’t think we ought to use a measure that is supposed to be timely, temporary and targeted to set off trade wars. It’s a very bad idea.”