The following letter was delivered today to Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders:
We want to thank you for your leadership and that of your Government in backing negotiations with the United States to secure a waiver from Buy American restrictions for Canadian manufactured goods and expand access to government procurement markets on both sides of the border.
In May, we wrote to Premiers to express our concern that Canadian companies were being excluded from state and local procurement markets as a result of Buy American restrictions appearing in recent US legislation. Since then the issue has become more acute and more urgent for manufacturers that count on access to US sub-national procurement markets to sustain production facilities and jobs across Canada.
Canada’s manufacturers continue to lose business and shed jobs as a result of the Buy American provisions contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other appropriation bills. The uncertainty and complexity that surround how Buy American provisions are to be implemented are slowing procurement projects in the United States, forcing US contractors and distributors to exclude Canadian products from their inventories, and creating additional costs for those companies that have unique technologies that seriously erode their competitiveness in US and global markets. At the same time, protectionist pressures are intensifying in Canada. Canadian municipalities have resolved to take reciprocal action if Buy American restrictions are not lifted by October 4th.
We want to emphasize the importance as well as the urgency of negotiating a rapid resolution to the Buy American issue. Furthermore, we are convinced that Canada has an opportunity to negotiate a more open procurement market agreement with the United States that will be of significant benefit to both our economies. Our associations strongly support efforts made by federal and provincial governments towards achieving those goals.
We encourage you to reach an agreement quickly on the terms of Canada’s negotiating proposal and look forward to working with you in negotiations that would restore and enhance business opportunities for Canadian manufacturers.
President & CEO
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Chief Executive and President
Canadian Council of Chief Executives