Ontario slams Joe Biden government's Buy American executive order
TORONTO -- The Ontario government is slamming U.S. President Joe Biden's Buy American executive order, saying it will hurt businesses that rely on the cross-border trading relationship.
Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the Ontario government is disappointed by the move.
"We are concerned with what these measures could mean for Ontario workers, families and businesses who rely on the U.S.-Ontario trading relationship," Fedeli said. "This is a critically important trading relationship that supports millions of jobs on both sides of the border, and is worth approximately $400 billion annually."
Fedeli said that if Ontario were a country, the province would be America's third largest trading partner.
"We can't take these important relationships for granted," Fedeli added.
President Joe Biden imposed stringent new made-in-America rules for U.S. government spending on Monday. The Buy American executive order was the result of a cornerstone Biden campaign promise.
The policy is to ensure that American manufacturers, workers and suppliers are the primary beneficiaries of U.S. government largesse, including an estimated $600 billion a year in procurement contracts.
Fedeli said the Ontario will call on the federal government to ensure Canada is exempt from any Buy American provisions, and will instead advocate for a "Buy North American" approach.
The Buy American order came just five days after Biden "disappointed" the Canadian government and enraged Alberta Premier Jason Kenney by rescinding a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion.
With files from The Canadian Press.