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CME stands with the Quebec Steel Industry against Buy America

Published by Brad Fougere on January 21, 2015

At press conferences in Quebec City and Montreal, Quebec's steel industry announced a new partnership and called for government intervention against the harmful forces of protectionist Buy America measures.

The Partners of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (PICCA) group brought together members of the Quebec steel industry, along with CME, and the mayors of Lachine, QC and Halton Hills, ON – municipalities impacted by measures preventing Canadian steel being used in infrastructure projects in the US – to address all levels of government on the impacts protectionism is having.

The PICCA release follows:
For immediate release


The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), Quebec Region requests the intervention of the three levels of government
to counteract the effects of “Buy American” legislation

Montreal and Quebec, January 20, 2015 - The largest steel industry leaders join forces to save their industry and its 17 000 jobs at risk in Quebec. They officially announced the PICCA group initiative (Partners of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction).
Canada produces over 13 million tons of steel annually which generates revenues of over $ 14 billion. In only ten years, between 2002 and 2011, Canada witnessed a transition from 1.4 billion net in exports to a deficit of more than $ 600 million for structural steel and related products, due to the rapid increase in foreign products imports.

In Quebec, protectionist legislation as the "Buy American" clause , as well as the dramatic increase of foreign imports and the economic slowdown in North American, have resulted in a significant 18.2% drop of exports from the province; while imports recorded an unprecedented growth of 22.3% in 2009-2010.

For this reason the Quebec Region of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), urges all levels of government to take strong measures in order to prevent the effects of "Buy American" protectionist legislation on construction projects in Canada.

"We do not want a “Buy Canada” clause! We simply ask all three levels of government to treat foreign companies as their governments treat us in their market, "said Hellen Christodoulou, Regional Director for Quebec for the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction.

As a spokesperson for the Canadian steel industry, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) is indeed deeply concerned about the effects of increasingly damaging protectionist legislation, particularly the "Buy America / Buy American" legislation, that has since 2012 prevented Canadian companies from bidding to obtain infrastructure contracts in the United States.

The PICCA initiative (partners of CISC-Quebec Region) also unveiled its plan of action that will take place throughout Quebec, throughout the year:

  • The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), Quebec Region, wants to sensitize all party leaders (at federal, provincial and municipal levels) of the importance of PICCA (Partners of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction) initiative.
  • The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), Quebec Region, invites all party leaders (federal, provincial and municipal) to publicly take a position and recognize the importance of the steel construction industry.
  • The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), Quebec Region actively invites the mayors of the two major cities in Quebec, the mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre and Régis Labeaume the mayor of Quebec City, to adopt reciprocity policies for procurement processes.

Future choices will have a significant and direct impact on both the steel industry and the economy within many regions of Quebec. Indeed, with more than 17,000 employees working in 1,100 companies specializing in manufacturing and assembly throughout all regions of Quebec from Abitibi to the Gaspé Peninsula, the steel construction industry in Quebec must receive the recognition it deserves. The steel industry accounts for 5% of the manufacturing sector in Quebec.

The announcement of this major movement is an initiative of the Quebec region of the Canadian Institute of Steel Industry (CISC) and was held both in Montreal and Quebec City. The CISC is the national organization representing steel construction in Canada. The CISC continues to actively advocate on behalf of Canadian steel, free and fair trade and for an open and competitive market in the procurement practices at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

About CISC

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) is Canada’s voice for the steel construction industry. The CISC promotes dialogue, collaboration and commerce between industry stakeholders – advancing the benefits of steel to the consulting community, builders and buyers, academia and government. We are one of the most active sectorial organizations to defend the interests of our industry.

The CISC represents a diverse community of steel manufacturers, fabricators and constructors, engineers and architects, owners and developers, and educators and students, offering a wide span of products and services to enhance capabilities and grow businesses. For more information, please visit



Hellen Christodoulou, ing, B.C.L., LL.B., M.B.A

Directrice régionale Québec - ICCA

L'Institut canadien de la construction en acier

Media relations

Paul B. Goulet
(450) 777-8290


Found in: Buy America

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