Surrey Business News


- Freezethea­

On January 25th, the new US President signed an executive order institutin­g a stringent new Buy American policy to ensure that

American manufactur­ers, workers and suppliers are the primary beneficiar­ies of US government largesse, including an estimated $600 billion a year in procuremen­t contracts. They include:

1. A “Made in America” office attached to the White House Office of Management and Budget to oversee waivers -- the exceptions that allow

Canadian contractor­s, manufactur­ers and suppliers access to a lucrative and often essential source of business.

2. The plan would also increase the number of Us-produced materials or components a project or product would need in order to qualify as American-made and make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to access procuremen­t opportunit­ies.

3. It requires government agencies to provide twiceyearl­y progress reports on their efforts to follow the new rules.

4. It also voices support for the Jones Act, a law that requires goods being shipped between domestic ports to be delivered on Us-flagged vessels that are built, owned and operated by American citizens or permanent residents.

The Surrey Board of Trade agrees with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, that this announceme­nt is a perennial problem for

Canadian businesses seeking to access government contracts with our largest trading partner. We call on the Canadian government to ensure market access commitment­s made by our trading partners are not rolled back. The Canadian government should be looking at all options to protect the jobs and livelihood­s of Canadian exporting businesses. This affects Surrey, given that we have the greatest number of manufactur­ers in BC.

In January, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’regan, virtually joined the Surrey Board of Trade to discuss the current state of the natural resources industry sectors and how it will play an integral role in Canada and BC’S economic recovery.

“Canada’s natural resources industry sectors forestry, minerals and mining, and energy from oil, gas, renewables, fossil and alternativ­e fuels, electricit­y, nuclear and uranium - will lead the way for economic recovery,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

Economic modelling conducted for the Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery, of which the Surrey Board of Trade is a member of, indicates that with the right success conditions, natural resources and manufactur­ing could create up to 2.6 million new jobs and up to a 17 per cent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP). This could amount to a nearly $200-billion increase in potential labour earnings, while

Minister O’regan said that the resource sector is key to economic reconcilia­tion with Indigenous communitie­s and peoples. Indigenous-owned businesses are 40 times more likely to be involved in the mining and

Did you know that the excise tax on beer, wine and spirits is set to increase again on April 1? Now is not the time for higher taxes, especially increases targeting the hospitalit­y sector. This crucial Canadian industry needs to be able to remain competitiv­e to be able to recover from the crisis. It’s time to #Freezethea­lcoholtax. Help spread the word:

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