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Statement by International Trade Minister Ed Fast on Proposed “Buy American” Provisions in American Jobs Act

(No. 307 - October 18, 2011 - 6:20 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today issued the following statement on the proposed “Buy American” provisions in the American Jobs Act:

“We welcome U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson’s assurances that no new taxes on cargo that enters the United States from Canada will be forthcoming. We also share his view that the Canada-U.S. trading relationship is the best on Earth.

“However, the view reflected in the Ambassador’s comments, which seek to justify the ‘Buy American’ provisions in the proposed American Jobs Act, is of concern. 

“History has shown that in times of severe economic challenge, the global economy is revived by lowering trade barriers, and that raising them will have the opposite effect.

“The Obama administration has in the past recognized that deepened trade is win-win for both our countries. In particular, Canada was deliberately provided an exemption in 2010 to the ‘Buy American’ provisions that were proposed at that time. Trade-restrictive measures between our two countries were recognized as wrong then, and they remain wrong now.

“With over eight million Americans depending on trade with Canada and over two million Canadian jobs depending on trade with the United States, trade-restrictive policies hurt us both.

“In these challenging times, there is simply no better American job creator than trade with Canada, and vice versa. And the best way to do that is through free and open trade.

“Our government is committed to continuing to stand up for Canadian interests by ensuring taxes are low and trade is open and free, because we know that low taxes and more trade is the best way to create and protect jobs, and grow our economy. Our efforts in this regard will continue.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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