Premiers call for new agreement with the United States



    OTTAWA, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Premiers are deeply concerned that Buy
American rules adopted in the United States are hurting both American and
Canadian companies and acting at cross purposes to the economic stimulus they
were intended to generate.
    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, passed by U.S.
Congress, includes provisions known as Buy American that require, unless
exceptions apply, American states and municipalities to use only iron, steel
and goods manufactured in the United States for federally funded
infrastructure projects.
    Canadian and American economies are already largely interdependent.
Premiers believe that any protectionist measures taken by either Canadian or
U.S. governments will therefore impede the integrated supply chains that
Canadian and American companies have developed, and undermine the prosperity
and the competiveness of both economies.
    The current economic circumstances require that all orders of government
within Canada and the U.S. continue to take strong and significant action to
stimulate our economies. Premiers support the November 2008 and April 2009 G20
commitments to rectify and avoid new barriers to trade. Protectionist measures
are counterproductive to this goal.
    Premiers believe the time has come for all orders of Government in Canada
and the U.S. to engage in a renewed era of collaboration to ensure open
markets between the two countries. Therefore, they support open and inclusive
discussion of all means, including the negotiation of a broad, reciprocal
procurement liberalization agreement, covering federal, provincial/territorial
and state government measures, in order to secure mutually-beneficial market
access and to exclude Canada from the negative effects of measures such as Buy
American provisions.
    Premiers will ensure that their governments are full participants in
these negotiations and collaborate closely with their counterparts and both
federal governments to rapidly reach such an agreement.




For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries may be directed to: Hugo
D'Amours, Press Secretary, Office of the Premier of Québec, (418) 643-5321,
hugo.damours@mce.gouv.qc.ca; Loretta O'Connor, Executive Director, Council of
the Federation Secretariat, (613) 563-4066, Loretta@councilofthefederation.ca


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