Buy American Executive Order Response

The Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, which the CHHMA is a part of, has issued a response on the latest Trump Administration Buy American Executive Order

At the beginning of February, the Trump Administration issued a new Executive Order on “Buy American” for infrastructure projects. Under the new order, departments and agencies must encourage recipients of new Federal financial assistance to use iron, aluminum, steel, cement, and other manufactured products produced in the United States in every contract, subcontract, purchase order, or sub award. This latest executive order is an expansion of a previous one from 2017. While the application of Buy American must conform to US law and international trade agreements, Canadian business interests in the US will be negatively affected by this measure. Previous Buy American policies have resulted in a chill for Canadian suppliers and has effectively shut them out of the US government procurement market.

The Canadian Manufacturing Coalition (CMC) is comprised of roughly 50 major industry groups, including the CHHMA, united by a common vision for a world-class manufacturing sector in Canada. The coalition speaks with one voice on priority issues affecting manufacturers, and what must be done to ensure all Canadians continue to enjoy economic growth, high-value outputs and high-paying jobs. The member organizations represent roughly 100,000 companies and 1.8 million workers, coast to coast.

CMC recently issued a response to the Buy American Executive Order:

CMC Response:

• Since the announcement, we have raised industry concerns with this re-cent round of Buy American policies directly with the Canadian Govern-ment. We have consistently stated that Buy American violates the spirit of free trade and the Canadian Government must respond in kind to such measures with its own. We will continue to lead on this advocacy.

• We want to collect and transmit to the government specific concerns of manufacturers with this latest round of Buy American policies. Please send your concerns and examples to Matthew Poirier, CME Director of Trade Policy. All examples from members are welcome and will be kept confidential.

• If you are running into problems with Buy American policies now and need help, please contact Matthew Poirier, CME Director of Trade Policy, who can put you in touch with the appropriate people or resources available to you.

Government procurement rules were among the sticking points between Canadian and U.S. officials during the 17 months of talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The US had initially insisted on restricting access to lucrative government contracts by employing a dollar-for-dollar formula that would limit Canadian and Mexican firms’ contracts to what American companies win in their countries.

Though it eventually backed down from that demand, the US maintained specific Buy America exemptions that had existed in the original deal, said Lawrence Herman, a former Canadian diplomat who practices international trade law at Herman & Associates.

Ottawa has negotiated exemptions too, he noted, on items including indigenous programs and military procurement.