According to an Irish Independent report, Bruton, in his capacity as the European Commission’s ambassador to the United States, has written to senior members of the Obama administration objecting to proposed “Buy America” provisions in the stimulus package currently before Congress.
The commission is concerned that the proposed provisions would require the favoring of U.S. suppliers over overseas ones when it comes to implementing major public works projects envisioned in the stimulus.
“The European Commission understands that finding an appropriate response to the economic crisis is the main, and legitimate, objective of the United States Congress.
“But resorting to measures that may effectively close the markets from foreign operators cannot be considered the right or effective response the situation,” Bruton stated in his letter.
“Open markets remain the essential pre-condition for a rapid recovery from the crisis, and history has shown us where measures taken contrary to this principle can lead us,” the former Fine Gael leader added.
The letter reminded its recipients, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that U.S. and EU were both signatories to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement, a treaty that provides access to European Union member states for a wide range of U.S. goods and services.
“I expect that you will ensure that U.S. obligations under the GPA will continue to be observed. I would note that the EC has strenuously avoided any efforts to restrict procurement opportunities for U.S. goods and services in its response to the global economic downturn,” Bruton concluded.