Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Canadian official: Dahle bill sends 'wrong message'

I finally heard back from the Canadian consulate with regard to my inquiries about Assemblyman Brian Dahle's bill to essentially set a state preference for California-grown wood products. Here is the response I received from Justin Currie, foreign policy and diplomacy officer in the Canadians' San Francisco office:
Canada values it’s strong partnership with the state of California. Procurement preferences and restrictions, such as those contemplated in AB 429, can impede legitimate cross-border trade between Canada and California because they create barriers to market access. Canada and California’s total goods trade is USD $46.1 billion, and more than 1 million jobs in California depend on trade and investment with Canada. Procurement preferences like those contemplated in AB429 send the wrong message to businesses and investors.

Furthermore, local content restrictions can often be complicated to apply, limit choice, and potentially can create liability in the event of their misapplication. Both Canada and California have commitments under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement (WTO-GPA), which provides trading partners with expanded access to covered procurement. Lastly, it should be noted that Canada’s sustainable forest management practices are internationally recognized as among the most rigorous in the world.

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