Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is This The Beginning Of The World Wide Trade War? Brazil To Challenge "Buy American" Stimulus Provision

This isn’t the beginning of a full-fledged trade war, but it is one of many signs which could lead to one.

Brazil is planning on challenging the CRAPulus Generational Theft Act at WTO meetings, citing the "buy American" provision which was inserted into the bill by congress despite President Obama's reservations.

From Reuter's:

Brazil may challenge the legality of a "Buy American" clause in the recently approved U.S. economic stimulus package at the World Trade
Organization, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said on Monday.

Amorim said the U.S. move was counterproductive, likening it to a pain-killer that heals the symptoms of disease but not its cause. He said the Doha round was not dead but would be hard to revive.

"It's a bad sign. ... It's not positive at a moment when the world economy is trying to revive," Amorim said.

Chinese official media also blasted the Buy American provisions over the weekend, saying they were "poison" to the world economy.

U.S. business groups last week criticized Congress and warned the clause would dilute the bill's impact and invite other countries to keep American goods out of their stimulus programs.

Amorim said he thought Brazil could challenge the "Buy American" clause at the WTO, despite not being a signatory to an international agreement on government procurement.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will speak against global protectionism at the G20 meeting in London next month, Amorim said.

Amorim is expected to meet U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later this month to prepare a visit by Lula to the United States this year.

Hillary will probably find another way to embarrass America at that meeting.

Read more at Heritage.

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