Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Canadian leaders urge softening of Buy America trade policy

The leaders of Canada's provinces are calling for an expanded free-trade agreement as lobbyists press U.S. legislators to soften Buy America purchasing policies.

Should the United States move to shut Canada out of the marketplace, Canadian municipal leaders say they are prepared to retaliate similarly with their spending.

Provincial premiers want the United States to extend free trade to provincial, state and municipal levels as both countries rely on each other for jobs.

Trade Minister Stockwell Day said it's estimated that $800 billion (U.S.) in stimulus spending could potentially come under Buy America restrictions.

That would require America's local governments to use only U.S. steel and manufactured goods in many cases.

"Canada-U.S. trade is about 70 percent intra-industry, so we're building vehicles and other things together and any proposal that discriminates against Canadian products really damages the North American industry," said Canadian trade lawyer John Boscariol.

Officials say that in 35 key states, 7.1 million American jobs are dependent on trade with Canada.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates it would cost American industry $15 billion a year if Canadian cities banned U.S. suppliers from future municipal procurement.

Governing showdown looms over stimulus

Canada faces another threat of the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper being defeated over its economic stimulus plans.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff will say Monday if his party will endorse the government's economic report or trigger a no-confidence vote to topple the government and set the stage for a national election.

The New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois have rejected the plans, while Ignatieff's main concerns are the size of the deficit and how much of the stimulus money is actually being dispersed.

Harper said 80 percent of the $26.3 billion (U.S.) in planned economic stimulus funds for this year has been committed.

News in brief

• Many Canadian health authorities don't believe the H1N1 swine flu can be called a full-fledged pandemic as the World Health Organization has done. In Canada there have been 2,978 cases, with four deaths linked to the illness. Most of the cases in Canada have been mild, and Chief Medical Officer David Butler-Jones said they are similar to "a seasonal flu."

• Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said governments need to withdraw stimulus support for the troubled financial system at the right time or risk harming the economy. He told the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal the world cannot withstand having governments being the main agents of growth and the key guarantors of financial market stability. Public sector intervention has been necessary but global economies will only truly recover when the private sector re-engages and assumes the risk, he said.

Facts and figures

A stronger U.S. dollar sent Canada's currency lower on Friday to 89.33 cents U.S. The U.S. greenback was worth $1.1194 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains at 0.25 percent and the prime lending rate is 2.25 percent.

Stock markets were higher Friday, with Toronto's composite index at 10,617 points and the TSX Venture index at 1,149 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 9, 27, 28, 40, 45 and 48; bonus 24. (June 6) 11, 12, 18, 21, 30 and 37; bonus 1. Super 7: (June 5) 8, 25, 27, 33, 34, 43 and 47; bonus 1.

Regional briefs

• Additional resources have been sent to help fight a massive forest fire near Lillooet in British Columbia's interior. It had doubled in size to cover an area of about 10,000 acres in two days outside Tyaughton Lake, causing people to leave their homes in the remote area. There are more than a dozen smaller forest fires burning in the province.

• A weaker demand for lumber and a higher-valued Canadian dollar making Canada's products more expensive prompted Tembec to close all of its Northern Ontario sawmills for up to six weeks. About 500 people are affected at the sawmills in Kapuskasing, Chapleau, Cochrane and Hearst. In British Columbia, Tembec is closing sawmills at Elko and Canal Flats for at least three weeks.

• Workers at a small Nova Scotia distillery are raising their glasses to toast a victory against the Scotch Whisky Association. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application by the association for its third appeal of a ruling allowing the trademark registration of Glen Breton whiskey. For nine years, the association argued that use of the name Glen would lead consumers to believe the product was made or bottled in Scotland.

Jim Fox can be reached at

Canadian leaders urge softening of Buy America trade policy 06/13/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 13, 2009 6:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  2. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"


    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  3. FWC: Fish away for invasive lionfish


    Times staff

    What could be better than fishing and helping save the Gulf of Mexico?

    Add prizes.

    Lionfish, originally from the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, are an invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico. [LARA CERRI  |  Times]
  4. Gerald McCoy cares too much about what you think of him

    The Heater

    Gerald McCoy is right. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is one of 16 players to record at least five sacks in each of the past five seasons. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Ronde Barber says comments about McCoy 'sensationalized'


    If anyone thinks Ronde Barber was throwing shade at Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, think again.

    "That anyone would assume I would say the best player on the defense isn’t a bad dude is irresponsible and sensationalizing a quote to serve their own means,'' Ronde Barber said.