Monday, September 19, 2011

Canada: Trade war looms over new Buy American threat in U.S.

A trade war with the United States loomed Wednesday after the Harper government vowed to fight the latest move by Washington to exclude Canadian companies from bidding on billions of dollars worth of economic stimulus projects.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast acknowledged that the rebirth of the Buy American threat caught Ottawa completely off guard.

“I was very surprised and certainly disappointed that the Obama administration has returned to that kind of a trade barrier initiative,” he told CBC-TV.

In the opening salvo of another bilateral trade dispute, Fast slammed U.S. President Barack Obama for including Buy American provisions in the $447-billion (U.S.) jobs bill announced last week.

“History has shown protectionist measures stall growth and kill jobs,” Fast declared in a statement. He said Canadian officials in the U.S. capital have been ordered immediately to raise concerns about the jobs legislation. more