The arrival of a new president at the White House does not mean that protectionism will be low south of the border, which, according to Prime Minister Franois LeCold, says he is only interested in using the “buy” clauses. American ”.
At a news conference in Quebec on Thursday, he warned that while the administration of Democrat Joe Biden was still “predictable” it would be difficult to get a “relaxation” from Washington. Than its predecessors.
“You have to be careful […], he said. In American history, Democrats have been more protective than Republicans until the arrival of (Donald) Trump. This will be part of the discussions with Mr. (Justin) Trudeau tonight. ”
In an effort to stimulate the economy, Mr. Biden proposed massive investments in infrastructure and other transportation projects, while encouraging the purchase of American products through the “American Buy” segment.
This will complicate the task for many companies looking to do business with Quebec and Canada’s most important business partner.
“It is important that we understand that a product has a chain of suppliers that can cross the border multiple times, and that the laws are not for the benefit of Americans or Canadians, nor are regulations such as” American Buy. ”
South of the border, public transport projects already claim that 70% of the components must be manufactured in the United States and the final assembly must be done on U.S. soil. However, Quebec is hosting North American headquarters Alstom, which in principle will become the owner of the Bombardier train division next week.
Mr. According to Legalt, US contracts “pass through Quebec”, which, according to him, represents an argument that explains that there is no reason for the existence of excessive protectionist clauses.
A Democratic administration aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using renewable energy, however, smiles in Hydro-Quebec as part of its strategy to become the “battery of the Northeast”. American, Mr. Legalt said.
The state-owned company already has a big deal in its pocket with Massachusetts, and is trying to land another one as part of a call for tenders in New York.
Alimentation Cooch-Dart, which halted the transaction, asked about the French government’s permission to acquire food company Carrefour. Legalt was not surprised to respond.
Referring to food security issues, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Myre had warned Elysee more than once last week that he had a word to say.
“I put myself in the place of Mr. (Emmanuel) Macron, and if there was (a French company) who came to offer an opportunity on the metro tomorrow morning, there would be no answer,” Mr. Legalt said.
In recent years, many companies in France have come to Quebec companies when it comes time to shop. Allstom will take over Bombardier transport, Comso now owned by Michelin and controlling Airbus Bombardier’s former C series.
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Bombardier’s government.
“Bombardier was in financial trouble, there was no Quebec buyer and Allstom was willing to pay the company’s rail division,” he said.