The order directs federal government procurement to focus on American made goods by American workers and with American-made component parts. Click image to enlargeU.S. President Biden’s Made in America Directive, a move that strengthened the already stringent Buy America bill, is aimed at China, Canada’s manufacturing sector may bear the brunt of this economic protectionism.

The order directs federal government procurement to focus on American made goods by American workers and with American-made component parts. It effectively closes loopholes and exemptions that Canadian companies have used to supply their American customers.

While the move was expected, it has been decried across Canada’s industrial and political landscape as clumsy and poorly considered.

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) says the Canadian and U.S. governments should instead adopt a “Buy North American” plan, given the complex supply chain linkages between the two countries and Mexico.

“Canada, Mexico, and the United States don’t trade with each other anymore—we build things together. Excluding each other from our respective government procurement markets could seriously hurt our precarious economic recovery,” says Dennis Darby, president & CEO of CME.

“We believe our federal government has to push this right away with the new Biden administration,” said Darby, who recalls that it took Canada nearly a year to negotiate exemptions in 2010, when the Obama administration enacted Buy American provisions.

“The key will be to reinforce the historically strong diplomatic relations between Canada and the United States in order to maintain open market access,” says Darby. “But the work our federal government can do at home is also very important. Given the global rise in protectionism and the drop in demand due to COVID-19, it is imperative for Canada to remain competitive and enact fiscal policy that will attract investment and grow our manufacturing sector.”

Before this order, U.S. laws required government agencies to give preferences to American firms, however, these preferences have not always been implemented consistently. The new executive order establishes goals and standards necessary to use federal purchasing to proactively invest in American industry. The order specifically governs federal procurement, federal grants, and other forms of federal assistance.

Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade is concerned that the directive could have a major impact on workers and businesses that rely on the strong trade relationship.

"The Ontario government is disappointed that the U.S. Administration has chosen to move ahead with a new Executive Order on Buy American which would restrict access to the U.S. government procurement,” said Fedeli in a press release.

“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. If Ontario were a country, we would be the United States' third largest trading partner. Ensuring strong trade ties is vital to the businesses and communities these trade relationships support, particularly as our economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Made in America Details

  • The order directs agencies to close current loopholes in how domestic content is measured and increase domestic content requirements. Currently, the U.S. has a domestic content threshold – the amount of a product that must be made in the U.S. The update increases content percentage required as well as the acceptable amount of increased cost compared to overseas goods.
  • It also updates how government decides if a product was sufficiently made in America, building a stronger foundation for the enforcement of Buy American laws.
  • The order also creates a new government position: Director of Made-in-America at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
  • Agencies must use the Manufacturing Extension Partnership — a network in all 50 states and Puerto Rico that supports small and medium-size manufacturers — to help agencies connect with new domestic suppliers.
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FABTECH 2013

North America's premier event for metal fabricating, forming and welding takes place in Chicago, IL November 18-21

North America's largest event for the metal fabricating and forming industry takes place November 18 to 21 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.

The annual event attracts fabricators from across North America. This year, event organizers are expecting more than 35,000 attendees to visit the 1,500 exhibitors already registered for the event.

This year's events includes an expanded education program with more than 100 sessions, including 64 new courses that have not been offered at previous FABTECH events. New sessions include presentations on trends and advances in laser technology and new workshops about lean manufacturing, workforce development and press brake operation skills.

Special events include a welding competition, new product presentations, a reception for women in manufacturing and a "cocktails and comedy" event on Wednesday, November 20.

For event details and for registration, visit FABTECH online at www.fabtechexpo.com.

SHOW HOURS

Monday, November 18, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm 
Tuesday, November 19, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Wednesday, November 20, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Thursday, November 21, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

  •  State of the Industry: Executive Outlook

Open to all attendees, the event takes place Tuesday, November 19, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse.

  • ·      Solutions for a Qualified Workforce Pipline

Open to all attendees, panel discussion takes place Wednesday, November 20 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse.

  • ·      Robotic Arc Welding Contents

Robotic welding technicians compete on Tuesday, November 19 and Wednesday, November 20 in the North Hall, Booth N2099.

  • ·      Cocktails and Comedy

Doors open at 5:00 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse, on Wednesday, November 20.

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS: EDITOR'S PICKS

·      Precision Punch & Cutting Technology 8:00 am - 10:00 am Monday, November 18

·      Automation Solutions for Press Brakes with Tech Tour 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Monday, November 18

·      Welding Disimilar Metals conference 8:15 am - 2:30 pm, Monday, November 18

·      Introduction to Laser Cutting Best Practices 8:00 am - 10:00 am, Tuesday, November 19

·      New Developments in Waterjet Cutting 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, Tuesday, November 19

·      Inspecting and Troubleshooting Welded Tube 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Tuesday, November 19

·      Innovations in Plasma Cutting 8:00 am - 10:00 am Wednesday, November 20

·      Game Changing Technology to Increase Productivity 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm Wednesday, November 20

·      High Energy Density Welding Processes 8:00 am - 11:00 am Wednesday, November 20

Check event details online at www.fabtechexpo.com/learn#.

 

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Canada to top-up small business relief fund

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