Canadian Unions help prove economic ignorance and protectionism are something America doesn’t hold the copyright on.
Two of Canada’s largest unions are urging the federal government to adopt a Buy Canadian policy similar to the proposal that has been criticized in the United States.
At a joint press conference on Tuesday morning, the Canadian Auto Workers and the United Steelworkers said Ottawa should adopt a procurement policy that ensures the majority of public funds are spent on goods and services made in Canada.
There has been no formal comment on these requests from the Stephen Harper led government.
In the meantime, the Group of Seven announced today plans to discuss at full length ‘plans to promote domestic consumption’ at their next meeting this weekend in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
The U.S. “Buy American” policy will be in the spotlight at this weekend’s meeting of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, a senior Canadian finance official said on Tuesday.
The official, briefing reporters on condition on anonymity, said the meeting would give ministers the chance to affirm a commitment to free trade and to discuss reforming financial institutions.
He said the point to emphasize would be that measures to promote domestic consumption — a reference to the “Buy American” policy in the U.S. stimulus bill — are not helpful in promoting global growth and stability. He also said he expected some discussion of currencies.
The controversial provisions were tamed in Senate debate to ensure all requirements for existing trade agreements will be honored at the Obama Administration’s request. Their current fate remains at the mercy of the conference committee.
President Obama’s first foreign trip is still scheduled to be February 19th to Canada.