Finance ministers at a meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations in Rome said protectionism would likely make the economic downturn worse. The ministers said they will work together toward stabilising the global economy and financial markets. A "Buy American" clause in the US' $787 billion economic stimulus has raised many questions, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tried to dismiss fears. "All countries need to sustain a commitment to open trade and investment policies which are essential to economic growth and prosperity," he said.

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