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Steel-state legislators defend 'Buy American' clauses

WASHINGTON - Legislators from steel-producing states are insisting that controversial "Buy American" measures remain part of the massive U.S. economic stimulus package.

WASHINGTON - Legislators from steel-producing states are insisting that controversial "Buy American" measures remain part of the massive U.S. economic stimulus package.

That's in spite of U.S. President Barack Obama's warnings that such provisions could trigger potentially devastating international trade wars.

James Obestar, a Democrat from Minnesota and chairman of the House Transportation Committee, says he'll pull his support for the package if it doesn't contain the "Buy American" measures.

Pete Visclosky, an Indiana Democrat and chairman of the Congressional steel caucus, says he's confident the provisions will stay.

The Senate's US$885-billion version of the bill, which is currently being debated, requires that any and all goods used for infrastructure projects be made in the U.S.

Obama is warning senators that including such protectionist provisions would be folly during a global economic meltdown.

 
 
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