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Champlain Bridge could be fabricated in Quebec

Published by Brad Fougere on August 20, 2014

Structal-Bridges, a division of Quebec-based Canam Group Inc., has obtained two contracts totaling over $90M for the fabrication of the steel structures that will replace two major bridges in New York: the New NY Bridge Project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River and the Goethals Bridge that spans the Arthur Kill.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) applauds this important recognition of Canam Group`s expertise and capacity to manufacture steel structures for large and complex projects. “Canadian manufacturers have all the knowledge and expertise to build bridges all around the world, and our governments have to do all they can to take advantage of it for our large infrastructure projects here in Canada,” says CME President and CEO Jayson Myers.

Given the domestic content requirements under the Buy America Act, the steel components for these two projects will be fabricated between December 2014 and August 2016 at the Canam Group plants in Point of Rocks, Md., and Claremont, N.H.

“While we applaud this important contract won by this Canadian flagship company, it is disappointing to see that for similar contracts in Canada, such as the Montreal’s Champlain Bridge replacement, the federal government does not provide any incentive for Canadian steel structure manufacturers to compete on the same level-playing field,” says Myers. “The U.S. government is forcing delocalization of manufacturing activities in the U.S. for all large infrastructure projects funded by the federal government, while in Canada our government does not provide incentives for our companies to grow and succeed.”

While Canam Group has installations in the U.S. that allows them to comply with strong Buy American requirements, hundreds of smaller companies do not have the capacity and are not in a position to even win any such contracts south of the border.

CME is urging the federal government and the Minister of Infrastructure to take this unlevel playing field into account when drafting the terms and conditions for the construction of large infrastructure projects such as the Champlain Bridge.

“Canada needs to adopt a reciprocity policy for its large infrastructure projects, which will give extra points to bidders using Canadian steel structures manufactured in Canada, unless those structures are fabricated in a country that does not discriminate against Canadian jobs. Free trade without reciprocity is just bad policy,” says Myers.

Found in: Champlain bridge Buy America

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