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Perhaps there should be a line in the lead that this term is mainly used in Commonwealth countries? In the U.S. these are probably called "position papers" or "policy proposals" or "government reports". There may be no exact equivalent since the U.S. government and political factions seem to mainly justify their policies to the public through the news media. Ghostofnemo (talk) 01:25, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
As a person who's written white papers, and also a resident of the U.S., I can categorically state that the term is in use (alongside "position papers" and the others) in the United States. LHMask me a question 01:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm only pointing out the obvious here so don't get me wrong. the term white paper's literal german translation is Weißbuch and that term is used since the end of the middle age. it came about because european countries used to (and still do) 'print' political and diplomatic papers (especially for foreign diplomacy) in different colours. the british probably started that and still to this day, their parliamentary dossiers are called bluebooks. other countries use other colours. italy has green, france yellow, the US and austria red and germany white. because of that papers that are a guide to make a decision/contain information and statistics/make suggestions and give explanation became known as weißbuch (white papers/ white book) in german and the term is now used in politics AND economics but mainly by authorities. that's the link to the german page http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weißbuch and the general term for these differently coloured diplomatic papers is Farbbuch (colour paper) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farbbuch there you can find the colours used by different countries. unfortunately the link to the english speaking article directly links to the term blue books and there is no general article for 'colour papers' since that term doesn't exist in english. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 09:38, 6 October 2014 (UTC)