Buy American and Defense Contracts
Other Key Information
Similar to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) provides Department of Defense (DoD) implementation of the FAR. While Canada and the U.S. have agreements in defence economic cooperation, provisions in our agreements (for example, NAFTA Chapter 10 Article 1018) also permit each country to reserve certain of its purchases to its own domestic suppliers for reasons of national security.
In particular, the Defence Production Sharing Agreement (PDF, 16 KB, 7 pages) does not waive restrictions on contracts for:
- food, clothing, and fibres [Berry Amendment]: (DFARS 225.7002)];
- acquisition and refit of vessels [Byrnes-Tollefson]: (DFARS 225.7013);
- small business set-asides (FAR Subpart 19.5); and any
- special provisions contained in the annual U.S. defence authorization or appropriations acts.
The U.S. Congress often restricts the use of funding, and occasionally these impediments benefit Canadian producers. For example, Congress limits acquisition of the following items to either U.S. or Canadian sources:
- chemical weapons antidotes;
- air circuit breakers for naval vessels;
- totally enclosed lifeboats;
- ball and roller bearings;
- vessel propellers;
- busses; and
- armour plate.
Certain contracts may also limit non-U.S. participation for reasons of national security or matters related to export controls. Therefore, Canadian firms may find Buy American restrictions in certain U.S. defence solicitations.
Troubleshooting is one of our services. The earlier you identify a potential problem, the better your chances of finding a way to overcome it, so contact your nearest Canadian Trade Commissioner - In Canada or Abroad if you face difficulties with these provisions or, if you require general background information on opportunities with the Department of Defense or the U.S. military, contact Rich Malloy, Trade Commissioner (Defence), Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
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