We've reported on the disappointing efforts of offshore-happy corporations like Caterpillar to invoke the "Shock Doctrine" and roll back "Buy America" rules already on the books and consistent with our trade obligations. We've reported on the hypocritical campaign by the Canadian government to accomplish the same, even though they committed even fewer types of procurement contracts to the WTO than we did.
But one question has been nagging me: what kinds of "Buy Canada" policies are actually on the books? Turns out there are a few major examples
- In Ontario, mass transit vehicles are given preference if they have 25% Canadian content. (This is a compromise from the 50% demanded by the New Democratic Party and the Canadian unions, and the 60% by some others.)
- In Quebec, mass transit vehicles are given an increasing scale of preference the more Canadian content that they have.
Another major difference between here and there is that the business and exporters' associations actually support Buy Canadian policies (including the Manufacturers and Exporters of Canada, where my friend Birgit works!)
And a recent USTR report shows that the Europeans are making good use of their flexibilities under the WTO:
Congrats EU and Canada! Nice to see we're all doing what we can to support a local industrial base!
(Please let me know if you know of other local content requirements - especially in transportation infrastructure funding - that we should highlight.)