Trade Minister Peter Van Loan has announced a Canada-U.S. deal to exempt Canadian companies from Buy American provisions of Washington's $787-billion (U.S.) economic stimulus package.
The deal involves 37 U.S. states that adhere to the World Trade Organization's government procurement agreement, ending a dispute that has raged since Congress passed the protectionist measures last year.
In return, Canadian provinces and municipalities will give the green light to American firms bidding on projects north of the border.
The deal only covers contracts granted under the U.S. stimulus package - its deadline for doling out cash is Feb. 17.
Sources say Canadian officials will continue to push for a permanent exemption for Canada from any and all Buy American provisions.
The same protectionist measures are in the massive jobs bill currently working its way through Congress and are expected to pop up in other pieces of legislation in the weeks and months ahead.
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