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U.S. Buy America order unlikely to impact Canadian glass companies: FGIA

February 1, 2021  By Patrick Flannery

U.S. president Joe Biden recently signed a “Buy America” executive order instructing federal procurement bureaucrats to close loopholes allowing waivers of domestic supply requirements and creating a “director of Made-In-America” to oversee procurement and ensure the various Buy America clauses are enforced. Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance CEO Janice Yglesias said the FGIA approved of the measures in comments to Door and Window Market magazine. In response to Glass Canada inquiries about the potential impact to Canadian companies, FGIA U.S. codes and regulatory affairs manager, Kathy Krafka Harkema sent the following statement:

It is common for a country’s government to encourage government purchases of products made within the country to help bolster the domestic economy and jobs. Many of these regulations or guiding governmental principles have been place for some time. In fact, the United States’ Buy American Act dates back to 1933.

The latest Executive Order signed January 25, 2021 by U.S. President Joe Biden, who took office January 20, 2021, continues the federal government’s focus on encouraging government purchases of products made in the U.S. The new Order establishes a Made in America Director who will oversee the Order and applicable Made in America laws as federal agencies procure and purchase products. As part of the effort, a website will be established to allow the public to view waivers proposed or granted to the Order. That website has not yet been activated.

The prior Trump administration also encouraged the purchase of products made in America when it, too, encouraged the federal government’s purchase of products manufactured domestically.

The U.S. and Canada remain strong trading partners with each other, bolstered by the new United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement that went into effect in July of 2020. In a free market economy, much of that trade between manufacturers importing or exporting products is with individual companies, rather than government entities in different countries. Therefore, the focus of the latest Buy American Executive Order, which centers on federal government purchases of products made in the U.S., is not likely to significantly impact overall trade activity between Canadian and American companies.


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