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January 20, 2015

BC ferry terminal project continues amid Canada’s Buy American dispute

Alaska is to proceed with the reconstruction of a British Columbia ferry terminal despite the Canadian Government's decision to block Buy America requirements, a state official has said.

By Samseer M

Alaska is to proceed with the reconstruction of a British Columbia ferry terminal despite the Canadian Government’s decision to block Buy America requirements, a state official has said.

The $15m project to demolish and rebuild the Prince Rupert ferry terminal has resulted in a trade dispute with the US, after Canada signed an order against the Buy America rule, Reuters reported.

The provision ensures that transportation infrastructure projects in the country are built with American-made materials such as steel and iron.

The ferry terminal is located on Canada’s Pacific Coast but is operated by Alaska’s Department of Transportation.

"The application of these provisions on Canadian soil is unacceptable and ‘an affront to Canadian sovereignty’."

Canada International Trade Minister Ed Fast previously said the application of these provisions on Canadian soil is unacceptable and ‘an affront to Canadian sovereignty.’

The call for bids posted on an Alaska Government website stated that the project comes under Buy America provisions, as it is partially funded by the US Federal Highway Administration.

In direct contrast, Canada International Trade ministry spokesman Rudy Husny said that the federal government will provide the winning bidder an order stating that the Buy America provisions cannot be followed.

Meanwhile, Alaska international trade associate director Patricia Eckert was quoted as saying: "If there is some inordinate delay, the Alaska Marine Highway System can maintain its Prince Rupert operations at normal standards over the next several years until we sort this out."

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