Refocus Needed from 'Buy America' to 'Buy North America'

CANADA - The President and CEO of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg suggests Canadian business needs to focus on shifting the attitude in the United States from "Buy America" to "Buy North America," writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 6 March 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

To shed light on the anticipated changes in US trade policy under the Donald Trump administration, the World Trade Centre Winnipeg hosted the "What's in it for US Eh" seminar last week in Winnipeg.

Mariette Mulaire, the President and CEO of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, observes there's been a lot of discussion but, so far, little has actually changed.

Mariette Mulaire-World Trade Centre Winnipeg

I don't think we've seen any changes yet.

I think the reality is we haven't seen the changes.

We've heard a lot of statements being made about changes to be made or unsatisfaction with certain trade agreements.

The one that I think is off the table is the TPP and I think that that's about is the only one that up to now is a reality.

The rest is a lot of talk about NAFTA having to be relooked at, about the wall with Mexico and about the fact that we're going to tighten and buy American and buy America.

That's what we've been hearing.

What we're seeing within our business community is some people are taking what they're hearing as a done deal and it's not a done deal, one.

Two, the reality is that this is coming out of Washington.

This is the President that's talking about this.

It's not necessarily what the business community or the business people are saying.

And we've heard more and more and more about Americans saying we need Canada and Canadians know they need American or the United States and we've heard a lot, "Let's talk about Buy North America," and I think that's where we should put our focus.

Ms Mulaire suggests it's important for governments, federal provincial and municipal as well as the business community to maintain relationships with their US counterparts and keep open the lines of communication focusing on the successes that have been achieved and the benefits of those relationships.

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