Neither country can afford to dabble with procurement restrictions, says CME president Jayson Myers.
OTTAWA—Buy American provisions before US Congress has potential to shut Canadian companies out of $115 billion in supplier opportunities for water infrastructure projects funded by the US government, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
“The legislation sets a dangerous precedent applying Buy American restrictions to current as well as future infrastructure funding”, says CME president, Jayson Myers.
The president of Canada’s largest trade and industry association added that legislation would definitely hurt Canadian manufacturers of iron and steel products used in water projects, and also hurt US communities by eliminating critical competitive products at a time when there’s high demand for US water infrastructure rebuilding.
“We are afraid the legislation will set a precedent for other sectors of federally funded infrastructure,” Myers continued. “Protectionist measures that restrict Canadian market access to US infrastructure projects are already leading to demands for similar restrictions in Canada.”
The legislation will weaken manufacturing competitiveness on both sides of the Canada-US border. The proposed restrictions on future water and wastewater projects funded by the US federal government would require all iron and steel – including equipment produced from those materials – to be American-made.
“We are going in the wrong direction with procurement restrictions at a time when neither country can afford it,” warned Myers. “We should instead be working together towards a joint content rule for procurement spending that encourages competition, creates jobs and accelerates economic growth.”