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New Buy American legislation may permanently shut out Canadian goods: CME

Published by Derek Lothian on November 19, 2012

Buy American provisions currently before the United States Congress could shut Canadian companies out of $115 billion in supplier opportunities related to water infrastructure projects funded by the US government, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Canada's largest trade and industry association.

"The legislation sets a dangerous precedent applying Buy American restrictions to current as well as future infrastructure funding", says CME President & CEO, Jayson Myers. "It will definitely hurt Canadian manufacturers of iron and steel products used in water projects. It will hurt US communities by eliminating critical competitive products at a time of increased demand for US water infrastructure rebuilding. And, we are afraid the legislation will set a precedent for other sectors of federally funded infrastructure."

"Protectionist measures that restrict Canadian market access to US infrastructure projects are already leading to demands for similar restrictions in Canada," Myers told a panel of US trade experts in Washington. "These types of actions drive up the cost of infrastructure projects for all taxpayers and, more importantly, undermine the integration of North American manufacturing."

The legislation will weaken manufacturing competitiveness on both sides of the Canada-US border. The proposed restrictions on future water and wastewater projects funded by the US federal government would require all iron and steel – including equipment produced from those materials – to be American-made.

"We are going in the wrong direction with procurement restrictions at a time when neither country can afford it," adds Myers. "We should instead be working together towards a joint content rule for procurement spending that encourages competition, creates jobs and accelerates economic growth."

Found in: cmenews news

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