Canada Now Exempt from Buy American Provision: Free Trade Reopens
Canada and United States have reached an agreement to exempt Canadian firms from the "Buy American" provision in the economic stimulus package, Trade Minister Peter Van loan announced today.
In return, Canadian provinces and municipalities will give the green light to American firms bidding on projects north of the border.
"With this agreement, we are sending a clear message: the best way to create and keep jobs is by opening economic opportunities, not by closing them," Van Loan told a news conference."Canadian suppliers will have guaranteed access to sub-federal procurement in a range of American states and U.S. suppliers will enjoy the same guaranteed access to provincial procurement."
The deal involves 37 U.S. states that adhere to the World Trade Organization's government procurement agreement, ending a dispute that has raged since Congress passed the protectionist measures last year.
So far, this agreement only covers contracts granted under their stimulus package. With so many Canadian and American companies interlocked, the Buy American provision has been hurting businesses on both sides of the border.
"It's clear that our trade and our investment relationship is essential to businesses, communities and people in both countries. We're one another's top export partner, and the deep integration of our markets makes us both more competitive globally."
Ottawa continues to push for a permanent exemption for Canada from any and all Buy American provisions.