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Steve Chiotakis: President Barack Obama says doing nothing could lead to an economic disaster. In an editorial in this morning’s Washington Post, the president said each day that the nation waits on fixing the economy, more jobs, savings and homes are lost. Mr. Obama says his more than $900 billion economic stimulus plan is not just a short-term fix, but an economic growth strategy.
The U.S. Senate is weighing in on that package of course, and America’s foreign trade partners are breathing a sigh of relief today after lawmakers watered down the controversial “Buy America” provision. There also seems to be some world-wide business opportunity. From Shanghai, here’s Marketplace’s Scott Tong.
Scott Tong:/strong> Foreign companies smell opportunity in the stimulus bill. Take green power.
The bill if it passes would bring a $150 billion into clean energy. And China has nurtured this sector for years to clear up polluted skies here.
Beijing attorney Lester Ross says one of the most advanced sectors is solar panels.
Lester Ross: There’s been a great deal of investment here in China. And China, of course, has a number of advantages in terms of costs. So China has become quite competitive in this regard. And a number of Chinese companies have attracted foreign capital to help them to grow faster.
Infrastructure work would draw Chinese bidders, too: everything from steel suppliers to drywall to copper wiring.
The Buy America clause remains in the House bill, so foreign governments in Europe and Japan continue to lobby Congress. Beijing’s been more muted, but an official at the Commerce Ministry tells us China is negotiating behind the scenes.
In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.
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