You may recently have heard of an initiative by North Bay (ON) Mayor Victor Fedeli, regarding the “Buy American” provision and a tactic to elicit response using a mayor to mayor approach.
Mayor Fedeli came to the Canadian Chamber encouraging us to send this campaign on to local chambers who might be able to expand the reach of this effort by working with your mayor.
In October Mayor Fedeli sent letters to the mayors of three U.S. cities where the city of North Bay made large purchases recently, imploring them to think about the effect on their community if Canada succumbed to protectionism such as “Buy American”. Letters were also sent to the suppliers (these letters can be found on the North Bay city site at http://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/cityhall/otm/buyamericancampaign.asp).
Your chamber is encouraged to engage your local mayor in a coast to coast effort to wade into an anti-Buy American fight and appeal directly to their U.S. counterparts.
Attached here please find a template letter – take it and make it your own. Open up the attached letter and wherever you see highlighted text, put your municipality’s specifics in. It will require a little bit of work, but North Bay has found that the effort is really bringing in results.
Your city’s purchasing department can tell you what your municipality bought from U.S. suppliers. From there, it’s easy to Google and find out what city the item was made in, who the Mayor, Senator, Member of Congress, and Governor are.
Take moment to check out the North Bay web site where this campaign’s latest news is; the site can be found at: http://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/cityhall/otm/buyamericancampaign.asp.
This is another issue where the chamber network can affect change at the local level and have the power of the network felt across borders.