Feds and provinces offer U.S. forms guaranteed access on procurement

OTTAWA — The federal and provincial governments are offering American firms “guaranteed access” to Canadian procurement contracts in return for a waiver on Buy American provisions in the U.S. economic stimulus package.

OTTAWA — The federal and provincial governments are offering American firms “guaranteed access” to Canadian procurement contracts in return for a waiver on Buy American provisions in the U.S. economic stimulus package.

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day sent the offer — which he said was “time-limited” — to U.S. trade representative Ronald Kirk in a letter obtained by The Canadian Press.

The letter, sent Thursday, notes that only federal procurement commitments are covered under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.

Day wrote that “as such, our procurement commitments do not reflect the realities of our increasingly integrated markets.”

“To address this gap, Canada’s proposal also seeks a commitment to explore the scope for a permanent, reciprocal government procurement agreement.”

The letter mentions a preliminary discussion between the parties took place on Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear whether the proposal would lead to a resolution of an ongoing trade spat.

Provincial and local governments across Canada have complained bitterly that Canadian firms are being excluded by their American counterparts from bidding on billions of dollars worth of stimulus projects that are being funded by the U.S. federal treasury.

The Buy American provision gives preference to U.S. producers of iron, steel and other building blocks of public-works recovery efforts.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty urged municipal politicians this week to pass council resolutions denouncing protectionism.

The Canadian government, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, is offering “time-limited guaranteed access to an ambitious package of sub-federal procurement.”

In return, states the letter, Canada would get a waiver from the Buy American clauses in the U.S. Recovery Act, and from any new laws in the same vein.

Day said he has appointed a lead negotiator, Don Stephenson, assistant deputy minister of trade policy and negotiations, to pursue the offer.

He has asked the U.S. government to name a counterpart.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read