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Morning Brief: To buy or not to buy American?

Top Story President Obama signaled yesterday that he would seek to remove the controversial “buy American” clause from the Democrats $900 billion stimulus bill. Previously, the bill would only have allowed U.S.-made steel, iron and other materials to be used in projects funded by the bill. The clause had been sharply criticized by the E.U. ...

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Top Story

President Obama signaled yesterday that he would seek to remove the controversial “buy American” clause from the Democrats $900 billion stimulus bill. Previously, the bill would only have allowed U.S.-made steel, iron and other materials to be used in projects funded by the bill. The clause had been sharply criticized by the E.U. and Japanese government.

“I want provisions that are not going to be a violation of World Trade Organization agreements or in other ways signal protectionism,” Obama told ABC news.

A new study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics predicted the international backlash over the measure could actually cost more jobs than it created.

The E.U. denied any quid pro quo over dropping its dairy subsidies in return for the “buy American” clause being cut. Meanwhile, the great Roquefort war shows no sign of abating.

Middle East

Israeli planes bombed Southern Gaza as rocket attacks on Southern Israel continued.

Iraqi parties aren’t waiting for official results to proclaim victory.

Saudi Arabia released a list of 85 terrorism suspects including 11 former Guantanamo detainees.

Asia

Kyrgyzstan is moving to shut down a U.S. airbase used to support the mission in Afghanistan.

Fighting in Sri Lanka continues to inflict a heavy toll on civilians.

Asian markets appear to be recovering somewhat after governments increased stimulus measures.

Africa

AU leaders balked at Muammar Qadaffi’s plan to create a “United States of Africa.”

South African presidential candidate Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial was postponed until after the election in August.

Sierra Leone’s government says it has uncovered a coup plot.

Europe

Russia’s credit rating was downgraded.

Russia and France may enact tougher sanctions on Iran.

Pope Benedict’s reinstatement of a Holocaust-denying bishop was criticized by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Americas

Obama says he “screwed up” over the Tom Daschle’s failed appointment.

Chronic food shortages may hurt Hugo Chavez’s chances in the upcoming referendum to increase his term limits.

A former general became the latest casualty of Mexico’s drug war.

 

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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