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Protectionist Buy America provisions threaten Canada-US trade

Published by Brad Fougere on May 28, 2014

OTTAWA - Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) once again objects to protectionist measures introduced before the United States congress. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), brought before the House on May 27th includes a number of new and concerning Buy America provisions that will see Canadian companies excluded from supplying high-quality iron and steel products to the American water and wastewater sector.

"Trade between the United States and Canada supports many millions of jobs on both sides of the border," says Jayson Myers, CME president and CEO. “We have known for decades that when trade barriers restrict the flow of goods and services and everyone suffers.”

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a sub-section of the WRRDA, includes a number of Buy American provisions for iron and steel products related to the water and wastewater sector. It is expected that the bill will move quickly through both legislative houses and could become law as early as June 1st. 

This latest example of Buy America language has a striking similarity to sections of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of January 2014. It was among the first pieces of U.S. legislation to require made-in-America iron and steel procurement in the water/wastewater sector. While similar, this new bill will go a step further by making the Buy America restrictions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act permanent.

It is essential that American lawmakers in both congress and the senate reverse this dangerous trend towards protectionist legislation before our vital trade relationship is damaged further leading Canada’s government to be forced into consider a similar strategic procurement policy in Canada. 

CME is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

CME represents more than 10,000 Canadian manufactures nationwide. As Canada's leading business network, CME – and its member touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries

Found in: US trade Canada Exports

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