Toronto, February 26, 2018 – Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), released the following statement on the government’s legislation that would allow the Province to respond to “Buy American” laws enacted by American states.
“Positive diplomatic relations should always be our priority when it comes to trade discussions. With the Fairness in Procurement Act, we understand that the Government’s intention is to respond to barriers rather than escalate them. However, we are concerned with any approach that risks escalation of trade barriers, especially when it is taken only by Ontario. No other province in Canada has legislation in place that would escalate trade sanctions when they occur.
“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce believes that the best approach for Ontario is the formation of positive bilateral cooperation with our American neighbours. This is the approach the Premier and her Government have taken to date and they must continue to do so.
“Today, we wrote to state chambers in Texas, Oregon, California, Ohio, Colorado, New York, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana, asking them to work with us in pursuing bilateral agreements through our respective state and provincial governments.
“While we acknowledge the Province has already been active on this through their state engagement strategy, our members have told us they want the Government to continue to actively advocate on their behalf with American states. We need to do that in a cooperative manner to ensure prosperity and competitiveness for Ontario businesses. We will continue to work with both the Government of Ontario and our American neighbours to advance positive economic cooperation and positive trade relations.”
For more information about the Ontario Chamber Network’s views on trade, please see the recent survey release here.