More from Canadian Industry Minister’s NAM Appearance

By May 21, 2009Trade

More coverage of the comments of Tony Clement, Canadian Minister for Industry, who spoke at the National Association of Manufacturers on Wednesday.

Canadian Press, “Clement says U. S. protectionism ‘expanding’ and ‘cascading'”:

American protectionism is expanding rapidly despite President Barack Obama’s commitment to free trade, Industry Minister Tony Clement said Wednesday.

The so-called Buy American provisions in Obama’s economic stimulus bill are increasingly slamming the door on Canadian companies looking to bid on contracts in the United States, Clement said following a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers.

“What’s happened is these provisions seem to be expanding in scope, and they’re cascading down the system,” said Clement, in Washington to meet with key Obama officials and legislators.

“It seems to be metastasizing a little bit, which is of grave concern to Canada.”

The trend continues despite Obama’s stated support of free trade, he added.

“The Obama administration is our ally on this. They understand the need to combat protectionism,” Clement said.

It’s just an adverb and it’s just an editor’s call, but we didn’t hear “rapidly” in any of Clement’s comments. The “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus and the backlash in Canada are serious concerns, but “expanding rapidly” seems too strong.

CanWest, “U.S. protectionism ‘hurts Americans’: Clement

Reuters, “Ottawa worries ‘Buy American’ sentiment spreading

The restructuring of GM Canada with the possibility of aid from Ottawa was another topic Wednesday. Clement repeatedly noted the integration of the U.S.-Canadian manufacturing sectors across the border. Rarely do we hear the phrase “supply chains” mentioned as often as at this news conference.

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