29 January 2009 | Paul Snell
The US steel industry has called for the country's proposed economic stimulus plan to include a "buy American" clause.
The Steel Manufacturers' Association said wording should be added to proposed legislation so that domestic materials are favoured and used to upgrade the nation's infrastructure.
"A 'buy American clause' in enabling legislation would create American jobs, the result intended through the use of US tax dollars. The investment needs to be kept in the US," the association said.
President Obama and US politicians are hammering out the detail of a proposed "American recovery and reinvestment" plan to create and support up to 3 million jobs, worth around $800 billion to the economy.
The scheme will include hiring suppliers to repair and rebuild America's roads, bridges and schools, in which steel would play a large part.
The president has already spoken of the "dire" and "deteriorating" economic situation that "demands urgent and dramatic action". House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she wants new legislation to be passed by President's Day in mid-February.
The SMA's call follows a New York Times interview with Daniel DiMicco, chief executive of steel manufacturer Nucor Corporation, proposing the idea.
President Obama has appointed Nancy Killefer to a new role as chief performance officer, and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, to lead his line-by-line review of spending.