February 4, 2009

Japanese PM decries ‘Buy American’ push

A proposed Buy American component in the U.S. economic stimulus plan would violate principles of the World Trade Organization, Japan's prime minister said.

The Financial Times reported Wednesday that there is a proposed requirement in the stimulus bill for U.S. companies to use domestic steel and manufacturing products in infrastructure projects funded by the stimulus.

Prime Minister Taro Aso said at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week there was widespread feeling that talk of Buy American plan was unreasonable.

He said demands that bridges only be built with U.S.-produced steel was a breach of WTO (norms) of the current age.

The newspaper reported that the European Union has warned it might sue if Congress presses ahead with the provision.

Critics say the plan sends a protectionist message, the newspaper reported.