CME launches three-phase strategy to drive economic recovery
Calls for a Made in Canada promotion campaign, further leveraging of government procurement and infrastructure spending, a national manufacturing strategy.
OTTAWA — The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how manufacturing is essential to the Canadian economy, especially during a national emergency. It also has an important role to play during recovery and into the future.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has launched a three-phased strategy called “Manufacturing our Future” to relaunch manufacturing as a driver of economic prosperity.
“The manufacturing sector has the capacity to drive the Canadian economic recovery,” says Dennis Darby, CME’s president and CEO. In fact, Canada’s 90,000 manufacturers generate over 10% of GDP, nearly two-thirds of merchandise exports, and 1.7 million jobs.
CME said its roadmap (respond, recover and prosper) enables government to leverage manufacturing as part of the economic recovery plan.
Many manufacturers demonstrated their agility and innovation as they shifted production in response to the COVID-19 crisis, but the rate of manufacturing output has fallen below normal since the onset of the pandemic and CME reports that they expect it will remain below normal for the next three to six months, mostly due to a drop in demand.
Darby notes the crisis is far from over. To lead the recovery, manufacturers need the government to create the right business conditions. “The three-phase plan includes nine actions including the continuation and expansion of government emergency support programs, critical to the success of the industry. A Made in Canada promotion campaign would spur demand for Canadian products and help consumers make purchasing decisions that will support the domestic industry.”
He said governments can also help boost demand for Canadian products by leveraging procurement and increasing infrastructure spending.
CME’s three-phase strategy includes the following:
- Fix outstanding access issues with the wage subsidy and the commercial rent subsidy programs.
- Implement a rapid arbitration process for companies who were denied access to relief programs.
- Spur consumer spending through “Cash for Clunkers”, a home renovation tax credit, and a three-month sales tax holiday.
- Develop and support a Made-in-Canada strategy to boost sales of Canadian-made goods at home and abroad.
- Increase infrastructure spending and leverage government procurement by basing purchase decisions on total economic value to Canada, not just price.
- Encourage business investment by re-funding investment support programs and grant programs.
- Improve Canada’s global investment competitiveness by lowering the cost of doing business.
- Implement a value-added natural resources development strategy.
- Through procurement, encourage the development, production, and commercialization of new health care technologies.
- Develop policies that support SME export and scale up.
- Conduct a full mapping of Canada’s domestic manufacturing capabilities.
- Strengthen North American manufacturing by leveraging CUSMA.
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