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Obama Plays Down Trade Dispute With Canada Over ‘Buy American’

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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:21 PM
Original message
Obama Plays Down Trade Dispute With Canada Over ‘Buy American’
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 04:23 PM by Zorra
Source: Bloomberg.com

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper played down a dispute over “Buy American” provisions that have triggered accusations of protectionism from the U.S.’s biggest trading partner.
snip---
The “Buy American” provision included in Obama’s $787 billion stimulus measure approved in February stipulates that products purchased with the funds must be made in the U.S. Harper today said negotiators for the two countries “are looking at a range of options” to diminish the conflict.
snip--
The provisions have prevented companies such as Ipex Inc., a Toronto-based pipe manufacturer, or Hayward Gordon Ltd., a pump and engineered-systems manufacturer in Halton Hills, Ontario, from taking part in infrastructure projects generated by the stimulus measure.
snip---
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s provinces have the right to limit government purchases to Canadian firms. The provinces have been working toward a proposal that would open up these procurements to foreign firms, with the hope that U.S. states and cities will do the same.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=asu...



IMO, the "Buy American" provision as it applies only to the funds that we, as taxpayers, ponied up for the stimulus package is reasonable. After all, these funds are earmarked to stimulate our struggling economy, and not the economy of Canada. Unless I'm either misinformed or uninformed, other manufacturing, goods, services not related to the the funds earmarked for the stimulus package are not subject to the "Buy American" provision.

So it is reasonable to believe that Canada still gets pretty much the same amount of the pie that would have existed anyway, if there were no stimulus package.

I wish Canada abundance and prosperity. Canada and the people of Canada are awesome. But it does not seem reasonable for Canadian industries to expect us to subsidize their prosperity with US taxpayer funds.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. The problem is, our economies are so intertwined
That it's almost impossible to separate them.

There are some Canadian companies that supply goods and services that aren't available in America. And the reverse is true as well. And it's causing problems on both sides of the border.

We ARE your largest trading partner and cutting us off entirely is not so easy.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I was under the impression that the "Buy American" provision only related to
goods and services, etc., that the stimulus funds are earmarked for, and that we are not cutting Canada off entirely.

I believe that commerce between Canada and the US is continuing (outside of US commerce that is benefitting from stimulus funds) - at least, that's what President Obama is saying in the article from the OP:

“U.S.-Canadian trade continues to be robust,” Obama told reporters at the White House following a meeting with Harper. “There is no prospect of any budding trade wars between our two countries.”

The “Buy American” provision included in Obama’s $787 billion stimulus measure approved in February stipulates that products purchased with the funds must be made in the U.S. Harper today said negotiators for the two countries “are looking at a range of options” to diminish the conflict.
-----
Hopefully, something will be worked out that will boost the US economy and benefit Canada as well.

But the stimulus funds came out of US taxpayer pockets, in an attempt, (among other things), to help US industries remain solvent and subsequently put more Americans back to work. Using US taxpayer money to subsidize Canadian industry doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense right now, especially given the fact that 46 million US citizens don't have healthcare, and probably another 20 million have healthcare that is taking every cent(or more) of their expendable income.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Well, we also have this little thing called NAFTA
And one of the agreements in NAFTA is that we can't exclude each other when it comes to bidding for contracts.

I fully understand that the stimulus funds should be for US benefit only, but the specifics should be worked out between our countries.

That's one of the reasons Harper went today. The meeting with Obama was only a sideshow. The REAL bargaining is when he speaks with Congressional leaders later today.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. As the Canadian soft wood lumber industry and Mexican truckers can attest, just because we agree
to do something under NAFTA doesn't necessarily mean the we will follow through on our word. We reserve the right (even though signatories don't have the right) to unilaterally decide whether we will live up to provisions that we decide that we don't like after the agreement is signed.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Exactly. The NAFTA provisions work great
Except for the ones we don't like.
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Make7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Under NAFTA, Canada's provinces have the right to limit government purchases to Canadian firms.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:49 PM by Make7
Apparently that applies only to Canada, not the United States....
 
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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Right On
And as it is right now the Canadian stimulus package doesn't have a buy Canada bit in it.

So all the tooing and froing is being missed.

What the neo-con should have done is enacted the same policy and in one second the MSM would have been on it faster than a fly on ----.

So all this talk is missing the point. It is building up to a blow back in Canada!
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. My Canadian customers get hassled by t heir government when
they buy from us. Duty on everything above $20CAD. Forms, customs brokers, etc. I spent an hour yesterday doing the forms for a tiny $50 sale. There has to be a better way.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Does this mean I have to stop watching Strange Brew? nt
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Only if you don't pay import duty on it.
;)
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JonQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. It's been a while since we had a good trade war
this should be fun.
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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Hope You
Enjoy it.

BUY AMERICA MAYOR

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper stops by America, one of his plans is to "stop Buy America."

The Prime Minister met with President Barack Obama today. And tomorrow, he'll meet with Congressional leaders. Trade is sure to be on the agenda -- and many are hoping those meetings can help slow a wave of American protectionism. As part of its infrastructure stimulus spending, the U.S. government placed "Buy American" requirements on contracts that use stimulus funds -- a move which took business from many Canadian companies.

One of the people paying close attention is Rick Bonnette. He's the mayor of Halton Hills, Ontario. Back in the spring, he gained international attention when he started his own campaign to battle American protectionism.
http://www.cbc.ca/radioshows/AS_IT_HAPPENS/20090916.sht...
http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/asithappens/20090916-aih-1....
Piece starts at 10:35
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JonQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. I was being sarcastic
you do realize.

A trade war is usually a lose-lose proposition.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. I would like to think if buy American meaning buy from the America's
north and south. When I'm buying I try to make sure whatever it is is made in either north or south America
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Sandrine for you Donating Member (635 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. Now I'm looking about my fruit:s: is-it coming from USA ?
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