PRESS RELEASE | In reaction to the situation between VIA Rail and Bombardier Transportation, MP Bernard Généreux condemns the Trudeau government’s failure to have the “Buy America” clause removed from the USMCA.
In response to news published in La Presse this morning, Bernard Généreux said he was deeply disappointed with the decision of VIA Rail Canada, which is reportedly about to award the $1 billion contract for the purchase of new trains to Siemens, which would produce them in California rather than Quebec.
“As a native of La Pocatière and having met with the hundreds of dedicated employees who work at Bombardier Transportation, I’m deeply disappointed that VIA Rail, which is subsidized by the Government of Canada, hasn’t taken into account how much of an impact this decision will have on our region’s future,” said Mr. Généreux.
Monsieur Généreux also condemns the unfair situation facing Canadian companies subject to protectionist measures put in place by foreign governments.
“It’s ironic that VIA Rail is hiding behind our trade agreements with the European Union and the United States to justify its decision as though its hands are tied, while its counterpart Amtrak, the American state-owned corporation, is subject to the Buy America requirements. Uncle Sam is currently requiring trains to contain 65% American content, rising to 70% in 2020,” he said. “Justin Trudeau had the chance to put an end to this injustice in the USMCA negotiations and he blew it! It’s a double standard, one that Canadians will have to live with for years to come.”
The MP added that the tendering process has not yet concluded, and he believes there is still time for VIA Rail to allow Bombardier to submit its proposal. He called on Minister Garneau to urge VIA to speak with Bombardier, whom he believes should be entitled to a hearing.