Ontario opposes new U.S. “Buy American” executive order
The executive order disrupts existing Ontario-U.S. cross-border supply chains and erodes long-standing relationships, according to Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
The Biden administration’s stringent new made-in-America rules for U.S. government spending have drawn a quick rebuke from the Ontario government.
Issued on Jan. 25, the “Buy American” executive order directs agencies to strengthen requirements about purchasing products and services from U.S. workers and businesses, cuts some red tape, and creates a position in the Office of Management and Budget responsible for enforcing the directive. It also increases the amount of U.S.-produced materials or components a project or product would need in order to qualify as American-made, and make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to access procurement opportunities. Exceptions to these rules will be allowed only under “very limited circumstances.”
On Jan. 26, Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade issued a statement saying that the Ontario government is “disappointed” with the executive order. “We are concerned with what these measures could mean for Ontario workers, families and businesses who rely on the U.S.-Ontario trading relationship,” he said. “This is a critically important trading relationship that supports millions of jobs on both sides of the border, and is worth approximately $400 billion CAD annually. If Ontario were a country, we would be the United States’ third largest trading partner. Ensuring strong trade ties is vital to the businesses and communities these trade relationships support, particularly as our economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Buy American policies “disrupt existing Ontario-U.S. cross-border supply chains and erode the deep and long-standing relationships we have built over the years,” Fedeli’s statement continued. “Our government will continue to call on our federal government to ensure Canada is exempt from any Buy American provisions, and instead advocate for a ‘Buy North American’ approach.”