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The American Economy and 'Buy American'

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) should retain the U.S. government’s ability to stimulate America’s economy through stimulus programs. In particular, the government must retain the ability to target job creation in particular regions or industries and to promote resource conservation and respect for human and workers’ rights. That is why the TPP should not repeat rules from earlier agreements that limit “Buy American” and impose other restrictions on government purchasing contracts. These rules sometimes require the United States to pretend that foreign companies are “American” for the purposes of Buy America laws. Moreover, states should be able to opt out of such procurement commitments. Recently, 68 members of Congress wrote to President Obama with this concern: they know this provision is critical to the development of our domestic economy, especially in times of recession or depression. Now is not the time to simply trade away the ability to create jobs through government spending.

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