Monday, January 19, 2015

Federal Government continues the fight against Buy America provisions for Alaska Ferry Terminal project

Proposed work for the Alaska Marine Highway System Terminal in Prince Rupert hangs in the balance as Ottawa increases the stakes for the project, invoking a rarely used anti-sanctions mechanism to express its dissatisfaction with the Buy America aspects of the project.

Or to use a hockey metaphor, in this matchup with the U. S.  Government, Canada it seems is dropping the gloves!

In a statement issued out of Ottawa today, International Trade Minister Ed Fast outlined Ottawa's frustrations at the inaction of the US government on the issue, taking the little used law to make its case.

“On behalf of hard-working Canadians and businesses that are being harmed by protectionist U.S. Buy America legislation that imposes U.S. content requirements on a project at the Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, we are disappointed by the State of Alaska’s decision not to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding these provisions." ...  “A waiver would have resolved this issue in a manner that would have allowed this project to move forward without delay."

You can read his full statement here.

As we have outlined on the blog over the last few months the proposed renovation to the Prince Rupert Terminal infrastructure has become a cross border irritant, with Ottawa now digging in its heels to push back against the American rules.

January 6-- Deadline for Opening bids on Alaska Ferry Terminal pushed back until January 21st
December 23-- Alaska Ferry renovations shift from trade issue to political irritant
November 28-- Alaska Marine Highway Terminal renovations find a bit of International controversy
November 25-- AMHS Terminal project on the radar for Canadian Business Group

Over the last two months Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer has been urging the United States to waive those Buy America provisions when it comes to the AMHS terminal, a request that the US Government continues to refuse to act on.

There has been no statement to this point from either the Federal or State of Alaska Government on the fate of the Ferry Terminal project, or on the move by the Canadian government of today.

We may learn more about the project on Wednesday, when the bid closing date is scheduled to arrive.

The Globe and Mail had the first of the media accounts of today's announcement, we will archive the media accounts of today's developments below

January 19-- Ottawa threatens to use rare law in Buy America Prince Rupert ferry terminal dispute with U. S.
January 19 -- Ottawa invokes rarely used law in Buy America row with U. S.

For more items related to Ferry Transportation on the North Coast see our archive page here.

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