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Canada, citing Buy American fears, says it might limit U.S. procurement opportunities

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Canada’s Chrystia Freeland speaks to media within the Home of Commons lobby on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada January 27, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable/Recordsdata

OTTAWA, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Canada has advised the Biden administration it would restrict U.S. corporations’ skill to win Canadian procurement contracts if Washington brings in harder “Purchase American” guidelines, the Canadian finance minister mentioned on Thursday.

In a bid to spice up home manufacturing, President Joe Biden needs to strengthen provisions that apply to a couple of third of the $600 billion in items and companies the U.S. federal authorities buys yearly.

Canada made clear in January it will search exemptions, given the shut integration of the 2 economies. Many American corporations have Canadian suppliers that danger shedding enterprise relying on how tightly the brand new guidelines are utilized.

“Relating to Purchase American, it is essential for the USA to grasp that procurement is a reciprocal relationship,” mentioned Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who met U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday.

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U.S. corporations, Freeland mentioned, did about C$1 billion ($808 million) a 12 months in enterprise with Canada’s authorities, which has adopted what it calls a reciprocal procurement strategy.

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“What Canada is saying to our companions, is our procurement alternatives shall be open to your corporations, simply as a lot as your procurement alternatives are open to ours. And that’s one thing that I mentioned with the secretary of the Treasury,” Freeland advised a televised information convention in Washington.

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Disputes over Purchase American provisions are usually not new. In 2009, Congress included an analogous mandate in an financial stimulus act, which hit Canadian corporations.

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Months later, in 2010, the 2 nations struck a deal, however Canadian corporations complained that most of the U.S. public works contracts had been locked up by then.

Freeland’s workplace didn’t reply when requested whether or not she had supposed to offer Yellen a warning. The U.S. Treasury didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

($1 = 1.2375 Canadian {dollars})

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Modifying by Peter Cooney

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