Canadian manufacturers face a new Buy American…

Once again, Canadian manufacturers run the risk of being affected by American protectionism and must fight to obtain the necessary exemptions. Challenges have been raised after the Biden administration announced new procurement guidelines on Monday that require building materials purchased for federally funded infrastructure projects to be produced in the United States. exclusions and waivers to protect access to the US market, as it has done in previous challenges. US President Joe Biden on Wednesday lifted the veil on a vast and ambitious $2 trillion infrastructure spend. However, Canadian businesses, contractors and suppliers were still wondering if they would be able to share the profits.

Stakeholders, well familiar with Biden’s campaign promises to impose tougher “Buy American” rules for government contracts, are still waiting to hear how stringently those restrictions will be enforced. Key to these efforts will be to emphasize the integrated nature of economies, where materials already flow freely across the border, and how Canada is rarely able to undercut U.S. prices. Darby says the US provisions are more targeted at countries like China, where there are concerns about subsidized production and the export of low-priced products.

The Buy American rules, part of the US$1 trillion infrastructure package enacted last November, allow for several scenarios in which requirements could be waived, including if they are inconsistent with the public interest or if the materials are not produced in sufficient quantity or quality on the domestic market. “There will be additional opportunities for good manufacturing jobs,” said Celeste Drake, director of Made in America in the White House Office of Management and Budget. “And as we look to boost American content, big companies are going to create opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States as supply chains are partially relocated to try to meet content standards.”
Biden faces inflation at its highest level in 40 years. He’s betting domestic production will eventually ease price pressures, a response to Republican attacks that his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package initially triggered higher prices.

“From day one, every action I have taken to rebuild our economy has been guided by one principle: Made in America,” Biden said April 14 in Greensboro, North Carolina. “We need a federal government that doesn’t just pay lip service to Buy America, but acts.”
Biden said the roughly $700 billion the government spends annually on buying goods is supposed to prioritize U.S. vendors. Yet regulations dating back to the 1930s have been watered down to mask the use of imports. The new guidelines would let government officials know how many dollars are going to American workers and factories. U.S. manufacturers are missing about 170,000 jobs of the 12.8 million factory jobs held in 2019, as manufacturing jobs shrank before the pandemic began. But the United States has 6.9 million fewer manufacturing jobs than at its 1979 peak, a loss caused by outsourcing and automation.