Ontario asks for exception to NYS 'Buy American' proposal

Mar 21, 2017

Two Ontario cabinet ministers are heading to New York Tuesday to urge legislators to exempt Canada from a Buy American policy it plans to introduce.

Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid and International Trade Minister Michael Chan are meeting with officials in Albany. They will focus not on the potential impacts to Canada's economy, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, but on New York's own "self interest."

Credit U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada

Duguid says a lot of American jobs depend on an unfettered trading relationship that will be at risk without an exemption for Canada. Ontario trading accounts for about 80 per cent of the goods New York state exports to Canada or about $10 billion, with $12 billion flowing the other way.

Duguid suggests that if New York "discriminates" against Ontario companies, the state's access to Ontario's market could be jeopardized.

Governor Cuomo's plan would require all New York entities to give preference to American-made goods in any new procurements worth more than $100,000. In his 2017 State of the State address, Cuomo called it "the nation’s strongest mandate for the purchase of American-made products by state entities."

Although there are some exceptions, to qualify as “American-made” under Governor Cuomo’s proposal, end manufacturing processes should take place in the United States and more than 60 percent of the components of the manufactured good should be of domestic origin.