Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

August 22, 2009 00:46 ET

CME Welcomes Proposal to Negotiate Solution to Buy American

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 22, 2009) - Today's announcement that the government of Canada has formally sent a proposal to launch negotiations with the US to resolve the problems caused by Buy American restrictions and guarantee open access to state, provincial and municipal procurement markets in both of our countries is welcomed by industry, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

"This announcement is very encouraging," says Jayson Myers, president & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. "We are very concerned about retaliatory pressures on the part of local governments in Canada. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has resolved to apply reciprocal restrictions on their procurement markets if a resolution to the Buy American issue is not found by October 4th."

Since Buy American provisions first appeared in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February, Canadian companies have found that they can no longer bid on state and local procurement contracts funded by the US government. Similar restrictions have appeared in the Water Quality Investment Act, Green Schools Act and Energy Act that are currently before Congress. Many contractors are excluding Canadian product from their inventory because of Buy American restrictions and uncertainty about how they will be implemented.

In the US, these same provisions have created considerable confusion among federal agencies and the US private sector, resulting in unnecessary delays in the allocation of stimulus monies.

"We know that thwarting protectionism and keeping procurement markets open is a priority for the Canadian government," says Myers. "Prime Minister Harper has raised the issue with President Obama. And, with the support of all provincial and territorial premiers, International Trade Minister Stockwell Day has now signalled to the US administration that Canada is prepared to negotiate a settlement.

"We are optimistic that negotiations will begin soon," says Myers. "We hope they will lead to an agreement between Canada and the US that will exclude Canadian manufacturers and exporters from Buy American restrictions and keep procurement markets to business in both countries."

"The ultimate goal must be to secure jobs," says Myers. "Given how closely the American and Canadian economies are tied together, it just makes sense to keep our procurement markets open to each other in order to maximize the benefits of economic stimulus."

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

The association represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. More than 85% of CME's members are small and medium-sized enterprises. As Canada's leading business network, CME, through various initiatives including and the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries.

CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports.

Contact Information

  • CME
    Jeff Brownlee
    VP of Public Affairs
    613-238-8888 ext. 4233