Ottawa, January 18, 2021 – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is urging the federal government to work with the incoming Biden administration to preserve Canadian manufacturers’ access to the US government procurement market. Furthermore, the association is concerned with the announcement that the expansion of Keystone XL project would be canceled.
The appeal comes as President-elect Joe Biden is expected to quickly act on one of his biggest electoral promises – reinforcing the Buy American Act – following his inauguration Wednesday.
CME believes the right path is for the Canadian and US government to adopt a “Buy North American” plan, given the complex supply chain linkages between the two countries and Mexico. “Canada, Mexico, and the United States don’t trade with each other anymore- we build things together. Excluding each other from our respective government procurement markets could seriously hurt our precarious economic recovery,” says Dennis Darby, President & CEO of CME.
“We believe our federal government has to push this right away with the new Biden administration,” Darby explains. “It took Canada nearly a year to negotiate exemptions in 2010, when President Obama’s administration enacted ‘Buy American’ provisions.”
The President-elect promised in a speech last week to use “taxpayers’ dollars to rebuild America.”
“We’ll buy American products, supporting millions of American manufacturing jobs, enhancing our competitive strength in an increasingly competitive world,” said Biden.
To achieve this, Mr. Biden promised executive action in his first week in office to enforce the 1933 Buy American Act. He will sign a series of executive actions to enforce Buy American rules, expand and tighten the rules for public infrastructure projects, make American products more competitive in public procurement, and create a new “Made in America” Office within the White House Office of Management and Budget.
CME believes it is imperative for Canada to immediately renew and strengthen diplomatic ties with the new US administration to maintain our trading relationship, which is the most comprehensive in the world.
“The key will be to reinforce the historically strong diplomatic relations between Canada and the United States in order to maintain open market access,” says Darby. “But the work our federal government can do at home is also very important. Given the global rise in protectionism and the drop in demand due to COVID-19, it is imperative for Canada to remain competitive and enact fiscal policy that will attract investment and grow our manufacturing sector.
Furthermore, CME is concerned following President-elect Biden’s intention to cancel the expansion of the Keystone XL project. The Keystone pipeline is a $5.3-billion project. “Aside from enabling increased production and export of Canadian oil to the US, building the pipeline would also drive demand for Canadian-made products, from steel and machinery to chemicals and electrical components,” adds Darby.
Manufacturing directly accounts for roughly 11 percent of Canada’s GDP and over 1.7 million Canadians are employed in this sector. Nearly two-thirds of Canada’s exports are manufactured goods, and more than 80 percent of these exports go to our CUSMA partners.
About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.