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Canada opposes Buy American provisions in U.S. stimulus plan

(Xinhua)

10:36, September 15, 2011

OTTAWA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast said on Wednesday that Canada will fight the Buy American provisions in the new U.S. stimulus package proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama.

In a statement on Obama's recent proposals of the American Jobs Act, Fast said the Canadian government will raise with the Obama Administration and Congress concerns regarding measures that impede access for Canadian workers and businesses to the U.S. market.

Last Thursday, Obama unveiled a 447-billion-dollar jobs bill, which includes Buy American provisions as a part of the infrastructure funding proposal, to revive the stalled economic growth.

The plan contains a directive that none of the funds made available under the Act be used for "the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States."

"History has shown that protectionist measures stall growth and kill jobs,"Fast said in the statement, noting that his government is committed to defending free and open trade on the world stage.

"I have instructed Canadian officials to initiate the consultation process that was established as part of the 2010 Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement," he added.

But the Council of Canadians urged the federal government to let the Canada-U.S. government procurement agreement expire as planned later this month.

The Council called on the government to follow Obama's lead by increasing funding to municipal infrastructure while attaching ' Buy Canadian' conditions to it.

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