IPP&T Magazine Online

CME tells Trudeau: “Buy American” policies need Canadian exemptions

November 18, 2021   Don Horne

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian officials to press President Joe Biden at the North American Leaders’ Summit for clear cut, and comprehensive exemptions for Canadian manufacturers from protectionist “Buy American” policies.

“Canadian manufacturers and American manufacturers are not competitors. They are part of a highly integrated North American industrial system that produces the goods that both countries use every day. Protectionist “Buy American” proposals for manufactured goods threaten Canadian industry, betray the spirit of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), and will hurt both countries’ manufacturers and economies,” said Dennis Darby, president and CEO of CME. “Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace the proven “Buy North American” approach to procurement within North America.”

He added: “Tomorrow’s meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau, President Biden and President Andrés Manuel López Obador is a golden opportunity for Canada to make its case for “Buy North American”. CME salutes the work being done by Canada’s diplomats, trade officials, International Trade Minister Mary Ng, and Prime Minister Trudeau in pushing back against Buy American protectionist policies. But the time has come to dial up the pressure on the White House as they have yet to concede on any of its Buy American proposals.”

According to CME, Canada needs to use all its diplomatic clout and persuasion to ensure it is “inside the tent” on industrial strategy for North America. The alternative would be to enact reciprocal procurement market access provisions that were announced in Budget 2021, which would hurt both economies.

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It would also mean that provincial governments should follow suit and limit their procurement markets to American companies if Buy American policies move ahead.

“Canada cannot afford to stand idly by while segments of our most important export market are closed off to Canadian manufacturers,” concluded Darby.


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