Irony: The EU's "Buy European" Program

Posted by scapozzola on 02/11/2009

  In all the hubbub about "Buy American" provisions in the current economic recovery bill, one amazingly ironic point seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle-- most countries already have their own domestic procurement programs.  The EU, for example, has long since reserved the right to award goverment contracts for drinking water, energy, transport, and telecommunications exclusively to EU companies.  And so, the EU has no obligation to provide U.S. firms with access to these contracts.   The folks at Global Trade Watch have done a terrific job in detailing exactly how the EU and other governments have made a point of putting their own manufacturers first.  As Global Trade Watch's Todd Tucker explains in a Feb. 5 report, "these facts make a mockery of the EU and Canadian claims that the United States is acting in an aberrant manner and somehow starting a 'trade war.' The EU countries and Canada have excluded in their trade agreement commitments a much wider swath of procurement activity than the Buy America and Buy American provisions in question." Thanks to Global Trade Watch for pointing out the hypocrisy behind criticism of "Buy American" requirements. 

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