The 'Buy American' clause and the fate of the global recovery

The election of Barack Obama was hailed around the world, and many saw its as the beginning of a return of the U.S. to the circle of Western nations. But Obama soon surprised us with one of the most protectionists of policies -- the Buy American clause in the stimulus bill. The clause stipulates that the steel and manufactured goods bought with federal stimulus funds must be made in the U.S. So not only is the American financial system blamed for the global economic crisis, now the opportunity to join a significant part of the recovery will be off limits to other nations.

Outside the U.S., many people are not impressed. Worse, some are starting to worry about the effects of this questionable rule.

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