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CME congratulates Hamilton's city council for its Buy America stand

Published by Brad Fougere on September 25, 2014

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters congratulates the city council of Hamilton, ON, Canada’s steel city, for passing a unanimous resolution condemning the rise of Buy American policies. Councillor Russ Powers led the motion calling on all levels of government in Canada to provide a level-playing field for Canadian steel manufacturers.

“The resolution passed yesterday by the City of Hamilton is a very powerful message: enough is enough,” said CME President and CEO Jayson Myers. “Canadian steel manufacturers do not deserve to be kept out of U.S. procurement markets while in Canada we do not impose any trade barriers to any U.S. firms for our own infrastructure projects.”

This resolution comes a week after the Canadian Consul in Denver, Colorado, wrote an opinion article in the Denver Post complaining about the Buy America policies that have been imposed for the construction of the South Park Street Bridge in the small town of Morrison. Just after the completion of the bridge construction, city engineers found out that the beams were fabricated by Atlas Tube in Harrow, ON thereby disqualifying the entire project to receive federal funds because of the Buy America legislation. The irony of this situation is that the beams were fabricated in Canada by a US–based company with plants in Canada.

Buy American policies are hurting U.S. based companies that have invested in Canada, and vice versa, said Myers.

“You can’t on one hand talk about the benefits of free trade and economic integration and on the other hand penalize companies who have invested in the other country,” he said. “In an ideal world, no bridges built in North America would have to chose between steel made in Canada or in the US but Buy America policy does not recognize the benefits of integrated trade and supply chains between Canada and the US”

The resolution passed by the City of Hamilton comes after three other Ontario cities – Halton Hills, Kingston and Aurora – adopted similar resolutions. Additional cities are planning to hold votes in the future on this issue.

“The support manufacturers are getting from municipalities is outstanding,” said CME Director of Policy Martin Lavoie, “and we are hoping that the federal government will acknowledge this important problem and use its own infrastructure procurement projects, such as the construction of the Montreal Champlain Bridge, to incent the use of Canadian steel structures and components.”

The resolution can be read here.

Found in: Buy America

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