Obama's 'Buy American' policy could hurt Canadian IT: Trade Minister Stockwell Day and CATA's John Reid say trade barriers are a bad idea, and there’s potential for a worldwide protectionist ripple
February 4, 2009

By: Dave Webb

U.S. President Barack Obama’s “Buy American” provisions for the country’s massive economic stimulus program could have an impact on the Canadian IT industry, the president of an industry association said Monday.

And Canada’s trade minister said such protectionist measures have “a contagion effect” that could become a drag on all economies.

Trade Minister Stockwell Day told ComputerWorld Canada he’d made progress at a weekend World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in discussions with U.S. trade representative Peter Allgeier.

Allgeier and the Obama administration have been watching the Canadian Parliament’s reaction to the provisions in an $800-billion American stimulus package that would exclude non-American steel and ore from infrastructure projects, Day said. He said Washington and Ottawa would work through trade offices, embassies and other diplomatic channels to “mitigate the effect” if the measures are passed.

John Reid, president of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, said the effect of such a protectionist measure by the U.S. wouldn’t simply affect the steel and natural resources industries. And in fact, when the measures came before the U.S. Senate after being passed by the House of Representatives, they had been extended to all spending on the infrastructure initiative.

Full article at: http://www.itworldcanada.com/a/Daily-News/3080d52f-255a-4ec5-9718-7e8d847b9802.html