Canadian PM warns `Buy American` is `risky`

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 09:29

Washington: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has warned that the "Buy American" provision of the US economic plan is "risky" and could contribute to rising
protectionism worldwide.

"I think that wherever they`re done, these procurement preferences in the stimulus legislation are risky. They risk, you know, growing retaliation and protectionist measures
across the board," Harper said in a TV interview on the sidelines of a summit of North American leaders in Mexico, yesterday.

"One of the things that we absolutely must do in this recession is to make sure that we don`t start cutting trade and we don`t see a rise in protectionism across the world,"
Harper said.

"That is the single biggest risk, in my view, to the global economy long-term. That is what made the Great Depression so great."

But at the close of the summit in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara, US President Barack Obama downplayed any talk that the provision would hurt trade between the United States and Canada, which are each other`s biggest trading partners.

"We have not seen some sweeping steps toward protectionism," Obama told reporters.

The provision, he added, "was not something that I thought was necessary, but it was introduced at a time when we had a very severe economic situation and it was important for us to act quickly."

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 09:29

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