By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada – Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, has registered his opposition to US president Joe Biden “Buy American” announced Monday, January 25, 2021.
President Biden said: “We’re getting to work to rebuild the backbone of America: manufacturing, unions, and the middle class, based on a simple premise: that we’ll reward work, not wealth, in this country. And the key plank of ensuring the future will be “Made in America.”
A statement from Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, reads:
“The Ontario government is disappointed that the US administration has chosen to move ahead with a new executive order on Buy American which would restrict access to the US government procurement. We are concerned with what these measures could mean for Ontario workers, families and businesses who rely on the US-Ontario trading relationship.
“This is a critically important trading relationship that supports millions of jobs on both sides of the border, and is worth approximately CAD$400 billion annually. If Ontario were a country, we would be the United States’ third-largest trading partner. Ensuring strong trade ties is vital to the businesses and communities these trade relationships support, particularly as our economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The US Chamber of Commerce has been clear that “doubling down on already rigorous “Buy American” rules could drive up the cost of government projects, undermining their potential to create jobs and spur economic growth.” Buy American policies disrupt existing Ontario-US cross-border supply chains and erode the deep and long-standing relationships we have built over the years.
“We can’t take these important relationships for granted. That’s why Ontario is also taking a proactive approach by pursuing Strategic Investment and Procurement Agreements (SIPAs) with US states, most recently Maryland, to make it easier for businesses in the province and in the US to work with one another.
“Our government will continue to call on our federal government to ensure Canada is exempt from any Buy American provisions, and instead advocate for a “Buy North American” approach. We will continue to highlight the costs of Buy American measures to businesses on both sides of the border and work tirelessly to ensure a stable and competitive business environment that creates jobs, opportunity, and growth.”
A statement from acting Secretary Pekoske on strengthening Buy American provisions, reads:
“The Acting Secretary released the following statement in support of the Presidential Executive Order titled “Strengthening Buy American Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers.”
“In keeping with our commitment to protect the American people, our homeland, and our values, the US Department of Homeland Security welcomes the President’s charge to buy American. As more American businesses are on the brink of closing their doors due to the unprecedented challenges we face, President Biden signed the “Strengthening Buy American Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers” Executive Order to support American manufacturers and workers.
“The Order requires that federal agencies use tax-payer money to purchase American goods made by American workers and with American-made component parts. DHS is a large department, and a major purchaser of goods and equipment, including vehicles, security equipment, and many other parts and products that support our operations. We will work with our partners to buy American and help strengthen the US economy through the implementation of the President’s Executive Order. We will also continue our commitment to including small businesses in our contracting program to the maximum extent practicable as demonstrated by our historic achievements of exceeding our annual small business goals.
“Whether protecting our borders and ports of entry, responding to disasters, or protecting critical infrastructure, DHS commits to using American-made products to help the US economy and its workers.”