TORONTO – Ontario’s plan to introduce legislation allowing retaliation against states that adopt Buy American policies is coming under fire from the Opposition, who says it’s nothing but a “last-ditch election ploy” from the governing Liberals.
Vic Fedeli, the Progressive Conservatives’ interim leader, says the Liberals are responsible for the province losing its competitive advantage and their latest plan is just an attempt to deflect the blame.
He says it’s a reckless move, particularly at a critical time in the negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Tuesday night that her cabinet would table a bill that would reduce procurement opportunities for states that adopt Buy American provisions by allowing provincial officials to write regulations targeting individual states.
Wynne, who was in Washington, said the size of each punishment will be proportional to the size of the Buy American exclusion to avoid setting off escalating reprisals.
She said the move was inspired by a recent infrastructure bill from the state of New York.