US President Barack Obama has signed The American Recovery and Investment Act, a US$787 billion (A$1.2 trillion) economic stimulus package that will combine new infrastructure spending and tax breaks for the purposes of creating more than 3 million jobs.
But the bill includes a Buy American provision that will affect US trading partners. The Buy American provision bans spending on stimulus package projects unless all of the iron, steel and manufactured goods used are made in the United States.
Australia’s Minister for Trade Simon Crean says the provision sends the wrong message to the world and Australia, along with other affected trading partners.
“The campaign by Australia, and other nations, has forced the US Congress to ensure the provisions comply with international obligations,” said Crean. “The US has an obligation to Australia on government procurement under the Australia-US FTA [free trade agreement] and we will ensure those obligations are adhered to.”
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