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Canada offers trade promises to U.S. in exchange for Buy American waiver

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, “The Canadian government has offered the U.S. guaranteed access to the provinces’ public purchases in exchange for a quick waiver of Buy American provisions that have frozen Canadian companies out of lucrative American stimulus-spending contracts.”
“In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Canadian trade minister Stockwell Day said such a deal would address Canada’s immediate concerns about Buy American, and could serve as a prelude to a permanent deal that would open cross-border access to provincial, state, and city contracts.”

“Spending by states, provinces, and cities is not covered by the NAFTA – Canadian provinces wanted it left out when the trade pact was signed – but Canadian provinces have agreed to negotiate some guarantees in exchange for a Canadian exception to buy American.”

Mr. Day’s letter states, “This offer is ambitious in its coverage of all Canadian provinces, territories and major municipalities as well as coverage comparable to that under NAFTA for all goods and services, including construction services.”

“It is not yet clear how willing the U.S. would be to strike such a deal. Mr. Kirk’s spokesman has said he would study it, and other U.S. officials have only offered a general pledge to work with Canada to try to limit irritants to trade. The U.S. Congress, however, has strongly backed Buy American provisions.”

The full article is at