‘Buy American’ exemption for Canada confirmed
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Canadian companies will be exempt from a protectionist "Buy American" clause in the U.S. government's $787...
Canadian companies will be exempt from a protectionist “Buy American” clause in the U.S. government’s $787-billion U.S. economic stimulus package, the federal government has announced.
The breakthrough, announced on Feb. 5, follows months of negotiations and conversations about the dispute between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama as recently as late December.
“Preserving and creating jobs is the Canadian government’s top priority,” said International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan. “Our government stood up for Canadian businesses and workers in resolving this issue with our U.S. partners.”
Canadian and U.S. officials hope to have a final deal signed by Feb. 16.
The finished deal will see Canada agree to provide U.S. suppliers with access to a range of construction contracts across Canada’s provinces and territories, as well as in a number of municipalities. In return, the United States has agreed to provide Canadian suppliers with access to state and local public works projects in a range of programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The agreement effectively ends a dispute that has raged since Congress passed the protectionist measures in 2009. Since then, Canada had been seeking an exemption from the provisions, arguing that American and Canadian supply chains are so intertwined that the measures were hurting businesses on both sides of the border. Canadian municipalities had threatened Buy Canadian retaliation against the U.S., but that course of action was put on hold as the talks dragged on.