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Latest Buy America requirements will hurt Canadian manufacturers: CME

Published by Brad Fougere on December 03, 2015

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on the federal government to adopt a reciprocity policy for all its major infrastructure projects that will allow foreign manufacturers to compete for those projects only when their home countries do not discriminate against Canadian manufacturers. This policy will not only provide a level-playing field for Canadian manufacturers but would also be a strong incentive for other countries to ensure fair and open access for Canadian manufacturers interested in participating in foreign infrastructure projects.

“Reciprocity is the essence of free trade and this is how other countries use their procurement policies in a strategic way. Without a reciprocity policy not only the Canadian manufacturing base will be hurt but other countries will continue to impose their restrictions while having free and open access to the Canadian infrastructure procurement projects,” said Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters President and CEO Jayson Myers.

CME is strongly concerned by the latest attempt by the US Government to unfairly force the relocation of Canadian manufacturing companies who depend on free trade south of the border. Today’s signing of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, a five-year public transit funding program, will increase the Buy America requirements for all public transit rolling stock funded by the federal government from 60 per cent to 70 per cent by 2020. The new Bill will result in fewer Canadian companies being able to manufacture parts and components used for rolling stock acquired by US municipalities and transit agencies.  

“A 10 per cent increase in US content will be disastrous for many Canadian small and medium-sized manufacturers that will either lose business in the United States, unless they re-localize their production facilities south of the border. This is not only unfair, but completely against the spirit of free and fair trade that should be governing the trade relationship between our two countries,” Myers said. 

CME has expressed concerns to each of the numerous occasions in the past years over the resurgence of unfair trade barriers imposed by the US government to Canadian manufacturers and exporters interested in participating in public infrastructure projects in the United States. In 2014, the US government adopted strict Buy American requirements for all water and wastewater modernization projects funded by the federal government. More recently, the US government tried to impose similar Buy America restrictions for the construction of a new ferry terminal in Prince Rupert, BC.

The Canadian government must address this trade issue at the highest levels and make sure that free trade between our two countries goes both ways.

“Many US manufacturers are eager to take advantage of the Liberal government ambitious infrastructure plan, while many Canadian manufacturers are being shut down from more and more infrastructure projects in the United States,” said Myers. “These unfair barriers have no reasons to exist between two countries that have such a long history of trading together.”

Found in: Buy America

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