President Obama’s $819 billion economic stimulus package passed through the House of Representatives easily yesterday, despite receiving zero votes from any member of the Republican Party. Part of the plan, which is officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, contains a "Buy American" provision that, according to Yahoo, generally prohibits the purchase of foreign iron and steel for any infrastructure project mentioned in the bill.
This bold move outlined within Obama’s economic stimulus package has understandably sparked some controversy within Europe and Canada--two major trading partners with the United States.
In the EU, trade commissioner Catherine Ashton preferred to wait to read the final economic stimulus package before making a statement, but her spokesman Peter Power said, "...if a bill is passed which prohibits the sale or purchase of European goods on American territory, that is something we will not stand idly by and ignore."
In Canada, tensions were similarly high. "We’re always concerned when there are protectionist pressures in the United States," Industry Minister Tony Clement told public broadcaster CBC, according to Yahoo.
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