Canada fails to win exemption from 'Buy American' rules

1 October 2009

2 October 2009 | Allie Anderson

The Canadian and US governments have failed to reach a deal that would exempt Canada from a "Buy American" provision.

US trade representative Ron Kirk met with Canadian trade minister Stockwell Day on Wednesday to discuss relaxing the restrictions but they have so far been unable to resolve the issue, according to Reuters.

After meeting this week, Day said: "We don't have an announcement right now, but everybody's working hard."

Buy American rules require US states and municipalities to purchase only US-produced iron, steel and other manufactured goods for projects under the government's stimulus programme (Fears over US buying policy News, 24 September).

The Canadian government fears the scheme may hamper future economic recovery.

In August, Day wrote to Kirk outlining a "time-limited" offer that would give American firms guaranteed access to Canadian procurement deals in return for an exemption from Buy American. Canada also proposed negotiations to open up trade markets between the two nations on a permanent basis.

Meanwhile, a Canadian politician has urged the government to give local suppliers priority in all future contracts. New Democrat MP Peter Julian last month tabled a private members bill - the Made in Canada Procurement Act - which would introduce a "Buy Canadian" clause in all government contracts.

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