Look out, Canada, Joe Biden has a little bit of Donald Trump in him

WASHINGTON—When U.S. President Joe Biden stood in a truck factory in Pennsylvania Wednesday, he had a message for foreign companies used to securing American government contracts. “They’ve got a new sheriff in town,” Biden said. He was increasing the American-made requirements for government procurement under the Buy American policy to 75 per cent from 55 per cent, and creating an accountability office to make sure the policy is being followed, and to publicly report exceptions. Hearing from the new sheriff, plenty of Canadians used to serving as loyal deputies might wonder if Biden was about to handcuff them. Especially after Biden’s earlier high-profile decisions cancelling the Keystone Pipeline, and keeping land borders closed to Canadian travellers even after fully vaccinated Americans start being allowed to visit Canada. Half a year into a new presidential administration widely expected to be friendlier to Canada than the last one, the trend of announcements might be chillier than anticipated.“We’re not seeing Canadian interests factored into the White House’s decision-making, certainly,” says Mark Agnew of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, noting he’s not necessarily surprised that’s the case. “We’re not hearing the same sort of bombastic rhetoric that we heard under Donald Trump, but it’s still ‘America First’ with a different coat of paint on all the cans. The underlying political drivers and motivations are still there.”The good news for Canadian industry is that Biden’s specific proposal doesn’t seem likely to directly impact Canadian companies. A Canadian government official said on background that Biden’s policy proposal appears to apply to the “American First” policy from which Canada is exempted by trade deals (rather than the confusingly similarly named “America First” policy which could impact Canada). Biden’s proposal is also subject to a 60-day period of discussion during which Canada’s government and its international companies can plead their cases. Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer with Thompson Hine in Ohio, says the deeper immediate concern for Canadian companies isn’t in the text of the proposal. “The problem usually isn’t policy or practice. It’s the perception. So I’ve had many circumstances over the years, particularly with Canadian companies, where they meet all of the requirements, but the perception of the procurement officer is ‘It’s Canadian, I can’t accept it,” Ujczo says. And in a context where the U.S. government is openly discouraging foreign procurement — and Biden is instituting name-and-shame reporting requirements — Agnew of the Chamber of Commerce worries of a possible a chill on Canadian suppliers that goes beyond any specific prohibitions. “If people start seeing in your disclosures that you’re having foreign companies supply a component to your finished product, then I don’t think in the current political climate that’s the type of attention that American companies are going to want.”Also of concern is that this rhetorical and policy trend toward protectionism continued from Trump’s administration could influence requirements in forthcoming massive infrastructure and green energy spending programs working their way through Congress. Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, says that what’s notable about Biden is that he’s taking a fine-grained interest in industrial policy, that is seemingly devoted to implementing protectionist measures. Volpe says that at a time when new industries are being set up for the next generation of auto manufacturing, Canadian companies and governments need to target areas where they can contribute and lobby hard to be included inside any trade wall Biden sets up. “Don’t treat it like it’s this year’s political question to answer. Because, at least in our space, in the transportation space, the shift to zero emissions vehicles is as big a shift as from horse to car. It’s the biggest opening for new players, and it’s also the largest chasm to jump over — you better have your jumping shoes on.”The Canadian government says it’s at the table making the case. “Canada is actively working with the United States, at all levels of government to strengthen our trade relationship and deeply integrated supply chains, for the benefit of our shared environment and people in both countries,” says Alice Hansen, a spokesperson for International Trade Minister Mary Ng. “We have always taken a Team Canada approach, working with Canadian businesses, governments, and labour, to stand up for Canadian interests, and will continue to do so.”From his perspective, Ujczo says he sees evidence in the text of Biden’s specific proposal and on other key trade files, that the work of the Canadian government is paying off. “I think the Canadian government has actually — as well as the provincial governments — have done a really good job of engagement in the first half year of the Biden administration,” he says. “We are seeing progress betwee

Look out, Canada, Joe Biden has a little bit of Donald Trump in him

WASHINGTON—When U.S. President Joe Biden stood in a truck factory in Pennsylvania Wednesday, he had a message for foreign companies used to securing American government contracts. “They’ve got a new sheriff in town,” Biden said.

He was increasing the American-made requirements for government procurement under the Buy American policy to 75 per cent from 55 per cent, and creating an accountability office to make sure the policy is being followed, and to publicly report exceptions.

Hearing from the new sheriff, plenty of Canadians used to serving as loyal deputies might wonder if Biden was about to handcuff them.

Especially after Biden’s earlier high-profile decisions cancelling the Keystone Pipeline, and keeping land borders closed to Canadian travellers even after fully vaccinated Americans start being allowed to visit Canada. Half a year into a new presidential administration widely expected to be friendlier to Canada than the last one, the trend of announcements might be chillier than anticipated.

“We’re not seeing Canadian interests factored into the White House’s decision-making, certainly,” says Mark Agnew of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, noting he’s not necessarily surprised that’s the case. “We’re not hearing the same sort of bombastic rhetoric that we heard under Donald Trump, but it’s still ‘America First’ with a different coat of paint on all the cans. The underlying political drivers and motivations are still there.”

The good news for Canadian industry is that Biden’s specific proposal doesn’t seem likely to directly impact Canadian companies. A Canadian government official said on background that Biden’s policy proposal appears to apply to the “American First” policy from which Canada is exempted by trade deals (rather than the confusingly similarly named “America First” policy which could impact Canada). Biden’s proposal is also subject to a 60-day period of discussion during which Canada’s government and its international companies can plead their cases.

Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer with Thompson Hine in Ohio, says the deeper immediate concern for Canadian companies isn’t in the text of the proposal. “The problem usually isn’t policy or practice. It’s the perception. So I’ve had many circumstances over the years, particularly with Canadian companies, where they meet all of the requirements, but the perception of the procurement officer is ‘It’s Canadian, I can’t accept it,” Ujczo says.

And in a context where the U.S. government is openly discouraging foreign procurement — and Biden is instituting name-and-shame reporting requirements — Agnew of the Chamber of Commerce worries of a possible a chill on Canadian suppliers that goes beyond any specific prohibitions. “If people start seeing in your disclosures that you’re having foreign companies supply a component to your finished product, then I don’t think in the current political climate that’s the type of attention that American companies are going to want.”

Also of concern is that this rhetorical and policy trend toward protectionism continued from Trump’s administration could influence requirements in forthcoming massive infrastructure and green energy spending programs working their way through Congress.

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, says that what’s notable about Biden is that he’s taking a fine-grained interest in industrial policy, that is seemingly devoted to implementing protectionist measures.

Volpe says that at a time when new industries are being set up for the next generation of auto manufacturing, Canadian companies and governments need to target areas where they can contribute and lobby hard to be included inside any trade wall Biden sets up. “Don’t treat it like it’s this year’s political question to answer. Because, at least in our space, in the transportation space, the shift to zero emissions vehicles is as big a shift as from horse to car. It’s the biggest opening for new players, and it’s also the largest chasm to jump over — you better have your jumping shoes on.”

The Canadian government says it’s at the table making the case. “Canada is actively working with the United States, at all levels of government to strengthen our trade relationship and deeply integrated supply chains, for the benefit of our shared environment and people in both countries,” says Alice Hansen, a spokesperson for International Trade Minister Mary Ng. “We have always taken a Team Canada approach, working with Canadian businesses, governments, and labour, to stand up for Canadian interests, and will continue to do so.”

From his perspective, Ujczo says he sees evidence in the text of Biden’s specific proposal and on other key trade files, that the work of the Canadian government is paying off. “I think the Canadian government has actually — as well as the provincial governments — have done a really good job of engagement in the first half year of the Biden administration,” he says. “We are seeing progress between the United States and Canada on what are more foundational issues for the future.”

And he says that right now is the window of opportunity for a “teachable moment” to ensure that Canada remains a member of the new sheriff’s posse. Recognizing that Biden makes policy primarily for his domestic audience, Ujczo says. “This is a great time in the process, over the next month, for Canadian companies, in particular, to demonstrate — and even better yet U.S. companies — to demonstrate the integrated nature of Canada-U.S. supply chains,” Ucjzo says.

Edward Keenan is the Star’s Washington Bureau chief. He covers U.S. politics and current affairs. Reach him via email: ekeenan@thestar.ca

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Tokyo Olympics Day 7: Athletes struggle in extreme heat; Penny Oleksiak going for medal in 100m freestyle; Canadians in finals for rowing, distance running

The latest Olympics news from Tokyo and around the world on Thursday. Web links to longer stories if available:7:30 p.m.: Videos of Suni Lee’s family reacting to the U.S. gymnast winning a gold medal in the Olympics all-around competition went viral on Twitter this week, with fellow Olympians, celebrities and viewers at home cheering alongside Lee’s joyful family.7:15 p.m.: Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade takes all-around silver at Tokyo Olympics. It is Brazil's first medal of any color in the all-around.6:30 p.m.: Fiji’s second consecutive gold medal in rugby sevens may be more meaningful than its first. That’s saying something, considering the team’s first win, at Rio 2016, meant so much that the country produced the world’s first $7 banknote to commemorate it, writes the Star’s Laura Armstrong in her newest Olympics roundup. Here’s what else is in the news: Australian Jessica Fox uses a condom to fix her kayak; Justin Bieber gives Simone Biles kudos; and Chinese shooter Yang Qian has two gold medals (and a killer sense of style).6:30 p.m.: Here are a few of the events that Team Canada is competing in tonight.Rowing, women’s eights, 9:05 p.m. ETDrew Mechielsen competes in the BMX racing semifinal, 9:15 p.m. ETDefending champion Penny Oleksiak will compete in the 100-metre freestyle final, 10 p.m. ET. If she wins, she’ll become Canada’s most decorated Olympian. Rosie MacLennan will compete in trampoline, starts at midnight ETRunner Mohammed Ahmed will compete in the 10,000-metre final, 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday 6 p.m.: At the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Star columnist Rosie DiManno had $10,000 cash, a phoney press pass and a last-minute bed at a heavenly country inn. The experience of Tokyo 2020 is nothing like the same — it couldn’t be, she writes.The latest from Rosie DiManno in Tokyo: An Olympics in Japan can be wonderful (even if these Games aren’t)5 p.m.: The 2020 Olympics are shaping up to be one of the hottest on record as daily highs regularly exceed 30C and humidity packs an extra punch.Said Russian Olympic Committee tennis player Daniil Medvedev, during a Tuesday fixture: “I can finish the match, but I can die,” he told the chair umpire in front of cameras after being asked if he could continue playing.Earlier in the week, Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa had to leave her quarterfinal match in a wheelchair. Last Friday, Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying round. 4 p.m.: Star columnist Rick Salutin writes: The distress experienced by US gymnast Simone Biles stems from a situation: Olympics culture in its 2021 version. There’s a shabbiness to these games in particular: the issue isn’t just empty arenas, it’s a sense that they’re only being held to avoid financial losses and serve the egos and careers of pols and sportsocrats against the unmistakably expressed opposition of the host population.The athletes feel real pain and deserve support and relief, but you don’t want to use mental healthification to let the source of that pain off the hook.4 p.m.: On today’s episode of Tokyo Daily, Brendan Dunlop chats with the Star’s Dave Feschuk in Tokyo about the atmosphere of these Olympic Games, the success of Canadian women on the Olympic stage and what that might mean for funding and development going forward. And as track and field gets underway with a COVID scare, there are a few Canadian men looking to get on the podium in Tokyo.3:30 p.m.: San Marino is considered the world’s oldest republic. On Thursday, it added another title that could one day become a trivia answer: the least populous nation to win an Olympic medal.One can only imagine the celebration that Alessandra Perilli will receive when she returns to the independent nation of 34,000 people in the foothills of Italy’s Apennine Mountains after claiming bronze in women’s trap shooting.Previously: American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tests positive for COVID-19 and withdraws from Games; Mohammed Ahmed and Justyn Knight among the favourites for medals in distance running; Canadian rowers Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens took bronze in women’s pair; Women’s basketball team defeats South Korea, 74-53; Swimmers just miss the podium in 4x200 freestyle relay, but Penny Oleksiak has another shot at becoming Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever. For a full write-up of what you missed on Day 6 of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.For full coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.

Tokyo Olympics Day 7: Athletes struggle in extreme heat; Penny Oleksiak going for medal in 100m freestyle; Canadians in finals for rowing, distance running

The latest Olympics news from Tokyo and around the world on Thursday. Web links to longer stories if available:

7:30 p.m.: Videos of Suni Lee’s family reacting to the U.S. gymnast winning a gold medal in the Olympics all-around competition went viral on Twitter this week, with fellow Olympians, celebrities and viewers at home cheering alongside Lee’s joyful family.

7:15 p.m.: Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade takes all-around silver at Tokyo Olympics. It is Brazil's first medal of any color in the all-around.

6:30 p.m.: Fiji’s second consecutive gold medal in rugby sevens may be more meaningful than its first.

That’s saying something, considering the team’s first win, at Rio 2016, meant so much that the country produced the world’s first $7 banknote to commemorate it, writes the Star’s Laura Armstrong in her newest Olympics roundup.

Here’s what else is in the news: Australian Jessica Fox uses a condom to fix her kayak; Justin Bieber gives Simone Biles kudos; and Chinese shooter Yang Qian has two gold medals (and a killer sense of style).

6:30 p.m.: Here are a few of the events that Team Canada is competing in tonight.

  • Rowing, women’s eights, 9:05 p.m. ET

  • Drew Mechielsen competes in the BMX racing semifinal, 9:15 p.m. ET

  • Defending champion Penny Oleksiak will compete in the 100-metre freestyle final, 10 p.m. ET. If she wins, she’ll become Canada’s most decorated Olympian.

  • Rosie MacLennan will compete in trampoline, starts at midnight ET

  • Runner Mohammed Ahmed will compete in the 10,000-metre final, 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday

6 p.m.: At the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Star columnist Rosie DiManno had $10,000 cash, a phoney press pass and a last-minute bed at a heavenly country inn. The experience of Tokyo 2020 is nothing like the same — it couldn’t be, she writes.

The latest from Rosie DiManno in Tokyo: An Olympics in Japan can be wonderful (even if these Games aren’t)

5 p.m.: The 2020 Olympics are shaping up to be one of the hottest on record as daily highs regularly exceed 30C and humidity packs an extra punch.

Said Russian Olympic Committee tennis player Daniil Medvedev, during a Tuesday fixture: “I can finish the match, but I can die,” he told the chair umpire in front of cameras after being asked if he could continue playing.

Earlier in the week, Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa had to leave her quarterfinal match in a wheelchair. Last Friday, Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying round.

4 p.m.: Star columnist Rick Salutin writes: The distress experienced by US gymnast Simone Biles stems from a situation: Olympics culture in its 2021 version.

There’s a shabbiness to these games in particular: the issue isn’t just empty arenas, it’s a sense that they’re only being held to avoid financial losses and serve the egos and careers of pols and sportsocrats against the unmistakably expressed opposition of the host population.

The athletes feel real pain and deserve support and relief, but you don’t want to use mental healthification to let the source of that pain off the hook.

4 p.m.: On today’s episode of Tokyo Daily, Brendan Dunlop chats with the Star’s Dave Feschuk in Tokyo about the atmosphere of these Olympic Games, the success of Canadian women on the Olympic stage and what that might mean for funding and development going forward. And as track and field gets underway with a COVID scare, there are a few Canadian men looking to get on the podium in Tokyo.

3:30 p.m.: San Marino is considered the world’s oldest republic. On Thursday, it added another title that could one day become a trivia answer: the least populous nation to win an Olympic medal.

One can only imagine the celebration that Alessandra Perilli will receive when she returns to the independent nation of 34,000 people in the foothills of Italy’s Apennine Mountains after claiming bronze in women’s trap shooting.

Previously: American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tests positive for COVID-19 and withdraws from Games; Mohammed Ahmed and Justyn Knight among the favourites for medals in distance running; Canadian rowers Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens took bronze in women’s pair; Women’s basketball team defeats South Korea, 74-53; Swimmers just miss the podium in 4x200 freestyle relay, but Penny Oleksiak has another shot at becoming Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever.

For a full write-up of what you missed on Day 6 of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.

For full coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.

Source : Toronto Star More   

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