August 10th, 2009
02:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: 'Buy American' provision not harming trade with Canada

President Obama defended a 'Buy American' provision in the economic stimulus bill during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday.
President Obama defended a 'Buy American' provision in the economic stimulus bill during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Monday that a "Buy American" provision in his economic stimulus plan had little effect so far on the multibillion-dollar trade partnership with Canada.

Obama told journalists at a summit with the leaders of Canada and Mexico that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has raised the issue every time they have met.

Harper has complained the "Buy American" provision is protectionist and could harm trade relations between the closely linked North American economies.

"This in no way this has endangered the billions of dollars of trade taking place between our two countries," Obama said, standing beside Harper and Calderon at a final news conference.

Harper responded to the same question by saying the leaders had a good discussion on the issue, and their respective trade ministers also were talking about it.

Canada is the top trade partner of the United States, with cross-border commerce worth more than $1 billion a day.

The $787-billion stimulus package enacted in February included a provision that only American goods be used in stimulus projects. It also stipulated that the measure would not override existing U.S. trade treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.


Filed under: Canada • economic stimulus • President Obama
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Moderate Democrat

    Democrats and Obama, TRUE americans!

    GOP: Domestic Terrorists, the American Taliban. The Cause of all our problems, and the problem to all of our solutions.

    August 10, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Nunya

    It's an offensive requirement that should be removed. The danger of provoking trade wars far outweighs any perceived benefit. Jingo and sabre-rattle all you want, but the leg you cut worst ends up being your own...

    August 10, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Irritated

    In this issue Canadians are showing how hypocritical they can be. They complain that Canadian companies cannot bid on stimulus jobs...it's a US stimulus package, not a Canadian one. It is not the job of the President of the US to bail out Canadian companies, it's Steven Harper's job. If Harper wants the 'buy American' provision taken out of the stimulus package, then perhaps he'll do away with the multitudes of laws in Canada protecting Canadian business from competition with US companies? Let's start with opening the cellular phone market which is a complete and utter rip-off in Canada precisely because of these protectionist practices.

    August 10, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Republicans destroyed this country!

    I think it was brilliant for the President to include this in the stimulus, of course only the republicans will disagree because they are ANTI-American.

    August 10, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Doug Neumann

    I have no problem with a "buy "American" provision. We are being bought and sold to China, India, Mexico and other countries right now. Our jobs are being outsourced on a massive scale, and the jobs that can't be outsourced are being taken by foreigners brought here from impoverished nations to work for less than we do. If something isn't done soon, none of us will have jobs or houses.

    August 10, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Karyn

    I was looking at the handling labels in my daughter’s clothes as I threw them in the washer. Made in China, Bulgaria, Egypt, Honduras, Guatemala, Taiwan, Mexico…. There wasn't one piece that was made in America. If you are going to Buy American, good luck finding it.

    August 10, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Fred the Moderate

    There just comes a time when we can't watch out for every other nation at the risk of our own. Take care of home first!

    August 10, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Stuffit

    Harper has complained the "Buy American" provision is protectionist and could harm trade relations between the closely linked North American economies.

    The Obama administration response? He's lying. Pretty soon they'll launch a Canadian Prime Minister Reality Check website and smear another leader.

    August 10, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Scott L

    What is Made in America these days anyway? Of course it has little effect.

    August 10, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. m jeff

    How can this be free trade when Mexico put tariffs on goods being shipped to Mexico from the U.S.

    August 10, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. They call me "Tater Salad"

    I'd be more than happy to buy American, if it wasn't manufactured in CHINA!!!!

    August 10, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Barry NiFong, Hawaii

    Canada was really worried about this but the US should me more worried about all the SHOVEL READY jobs that haven't happened. Keep believing the savior and you'll be jobless for many more years.

    August 10, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. mike,Texas

    Buy american,another liberal plot to help this country.Next thing you know the government will only help american citizens intead of the republican status quo of only helping the rich.

    August 10, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. George

    He says, and therefore it is.

    Talk about ego. You better move away when he comes near you, there is not enough room for you and his ego to be in the same county.

    August 10, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    No it is harming America, where we are stuck with shoddy, expensive union made goods and services, while the clown in the white house who was put their by the evil, greedy unions protects the slovenly habits.

    August 10, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. not a Jackson or a Palin fan

    Amen. If it wasn't for the USA, Canada and Mexico would have squat. They both need to tone it down a bit and show some humility.

    August 10, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Lisa, Saugus MA

    If buy American was so important to Pres. Obama he should have insisted that the Cash for Clunkers program would only allow people to purchase cars that were made in the U.S.A.

    As it stands, Toyota, Honda, Kia really benefitted from this program. I think the only winner on the U.S. end was Ford. At least that is what is being reported.

    August 10, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. m jeff

    I think our rich cooperate Republicans leaders are sending too many jobs out of this country in the name of greed.

    August 10, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |