Chong Welcomes Agreement on Buy AmericanFebruary 5, 2010
Canadian companies will now be able to compete for U.S. infrastructure contracts
GEORGETOWN – Michael Chong, MP for Wellington–Halton Hills, today announced that Canada and the United States have reached an agreement that would end the “Buy American” ban, which prevented Canadian companies from participating in American infrastructure projects. This new agreement will allow Canadian companies to participate in U.S. infrastructure projects financed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).
“This agreement is crucial to protecting Canadian jobs and workers in Halton Hills. Our government worked hard to defend the interests of Canadian workers and Canadian companies,” said MP Michael Chong. He added, “I want to thank former International Trade Minister Stock Day and Prime Minister Harper. They both responded quickly and effectively when I brought this issue to their attention last year. In particular, I want to thank the Prime Minister who promised me last summer that he would put this at the top of the agenda in his meeting with President Obama last September 16th.”
Under the agreement, Canadian suppliers will be provided access to state and local public works projects under the Recovery Act in a range of areas, including programs of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are areas of procurement where Canadian companies have traditionally been suppliers or sub-contractors in the United States.
Chong expressed his appreciation to the provinces, as well as to key industry associations whose support throughout the discussions lead to this deal. In addition he commended Rick Bonnette, Mayor of the Town of Halton Hills, for his deep commitment to seeing this issue resolved in fashion that would not negatively affect our community’s business interests. The end result is an agreement that will be beneficial to business on both sides of the border.
“This community’s prosperity depends on an open flow of trade with our largest trading partner,” said Chong. “While there are still challenges ahead, this agreement is a very positive step towards ensuring that we maintain a healthy trading relationship with the U.S.”
Both countries must complete their respective approval processes before the agreement can come into force. Canada and the United States hope to conclude this process by February 16th.