The United States and Canada have signed an agreement on government procurement, effective February 16th, 2010, allowing companies reciprocal access to participate in government procurement programs. The deal permits Canadian suppliers to compete for projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and provides expanded access for companies in both countries to bid on state, provincial, and territorial procurement contracts in accordance with the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).

Specifically, ARRA’s Buy American provisions will no longer exclude Canadian goods from certain government projects. The agreement provides that Canadian iron, steel, and manufactured goods are exempt from ARRA’s domestic purchasing requirements for projects funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Water and Waste Disposal Programs and Community Facilities Program, The U.S. Department of Energy’s Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants and State Energy Program, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants Recovery and Public Housing Capital Fund, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. In return, U.S. companies are allowed to compete for certain provincial and municipal contracts not covered by the GPA through September 30th, 2011.

This agreement opens new markets for both Canadian and U.S. businesses that are unavailable to other foreign suppliers and is expected to generate tens of billions of dollars in new exports. We encourage you to contact us as you consider the new opportunities this agreement may present for your business.