Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian company seeks U.S. address

Trying to counteract trade protectionism

  • Print

THE 'buy America' sentiment is so strong in the U.S. heartland it's forcing some Canadian companies to pursue U.S. acquisitions just to get an American address.

At a trade summit organized by the Manitoba office of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters on Tuesday, Craig McIntosh, CEO of Acrylon Plastics, said potential U.S. customers, for the first time in 20 years, are telling him they'd rather buy from an American supplier.

This new-found buy America patriotism is over and above any legislated American content provisions that have existed in the bus industry for years.

That's why McIntosh has been on the hunt for a toehold in the increasingly protectionist, but massive, market.

"We're up to bat for the fourth time right now and I hope we'll get to the finish line with this one," McIntosh said of his efforts to buy an American company.

And he makes no effort to hide the rationale for such an acquisition.

"It would be for tactical reasons," he said. "It's an operational manufacturing company (that is being targeted), but we want a U.S. address."

And this is coming from a company that is now the largest North American plastics supplier for Case New Holland and the company that built the plastic slide installed on the White House grounds for the Obama children in 2009.

"It's the first time in the 15 to 20 years I have been doing this stuff that I have felt this," he said. "It used to be we were greeted as friends."

Now, he said, there are some who lump Canada in with China and Mexico as countries that are taking American jobs.

"With a U.S. address, we can be seen creating American jobs and that will overcome some of the fears," he said.

Lloyd Begin, national sales manager for McKenzie and Associates, a sales agency that represents American companies in the Canadian market, agrees there is a growing sense American companies want to do what they can to help their struggling economy.

"It's a pride issue in the U.S.," Begin said. "I don't know how pervasive it is, but Americans used to be at the top of the heap, now they're no better than Europe."

Colin Robertson, a former senior Canadian diplomat and now a consultant and vice-president of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, was one of the architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

He said while there is a growing awareness in the United States about economic challenges the country has to face, there are some advantages for Canadians doing business there.

"For one thing, Americans like Canadians," he said. "Also, Canada is the largest export customer for 34 U.S. states. American jobs depend on their exports to Canada."

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird recently said as many as eight million jobs in the United States are supported by trade with Canada.

Robertson said he believes an announcement is imminent on the completion of the Beyond the Border initiative, a bilateral initiative designed to speed up trade and travel between Canada and the United States, as well as enhancing security.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 23, 2011 B5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Feeling at home at Home Expressions

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Aerial view of Portage and Main, The Esplanade Riel, Provencher Bridge over the Red River, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks near the Assiniboine River, October 21st, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) CMHR
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Has your opinion of Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec changed given his latest winning streak?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google