Washington state business leaders are stepping up their warnings that the “Buy American” provisions of the federal stimulus act could backfire on U.S. companies, particularly now that a group of Canadian municipalities is threatening retaliation.
“It will have a tremendous impact on our state,” said Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s biggest business group. “Many of our products include Canadian and American parts — you can’t just buy a piece of equipment purely made in the U.S. or purely made in Canada.”
Canadian municipalities hope they are helping the federal government make a case against the Obama Administration’s “Buy American” policy, passing a resolution Saturday that would potentially shut out U.S. bidders from city contracts.
Delegates at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference narrowly passed the resolution 189 -175.
Posted by Ian:
Earlier this year a trade unionist spokesman appeared before St. Thomas council urging them to support a Buy Canadian purchasing agenda. Our elected officials wisely declined and here is why such a protectionist stance is dangerous.
Retaliating against U.S. states and cities for adopting Buy American measures is like throwing a grenade in a confined space, says Trade Minister Stockwell Day.
“Everyone gets hurt,” Day told a Canadian Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday.
Day said he was concerned to hear a group of Canadian municipalities want to bar companies in protectionist countries from bidding on procurement contracts in Canada.
When Barack Obama came to Ottawa in February, Canadians lowered their defences and surrendered, seduced by the new President’s promises that the United States would stand by its international trade obligations and resist protectionism.
It was an object lesson in why politicians should be judged on results, not their intentions.
As guest of the Elgin St. Thomas Archives Association, Mayor Cliff Barwick’s
presentation Wednesday on heritage building preservation was so laced with negativity, it made his bland New Year’s address stand out as stirring motivational oratory.
And as was the case in his state of the union to open the 129th council of the Corporation of the City of St. Thomas early in January, Barwick proved a master of buck passing this week before 50 or so gathered in the public library’s Carnegie Room.