11/25/2014 07:32 EST | Updated 01/25/2015 05:59 EST

Enforcement Of 'Buy America' Provisions In B.C. Called Ironic

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. - The new Prince Rupert ferry terminal on British Columbia's West Coast can only be built with U.S. iron and steel products under the Buy America provisions.

A request for proposals from the State of Alaska carefully spells out that the project, estimated to cost as much as $15 million, must be built under the legislation.

A new terminal was part of an agreement in a 50-year lease signed in 2013 between the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the Alaska Department of Highways, which operates the ferry between Prince Rupert and Alaska.

Jeremy Woodrow, a spokesman for the Alaska Marine Highway, says the funding for the project is coming from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and must comply with the rules.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast says in a statement that he's deeply concerned about the restrictions on the Prince Rupert project and that the government is exploring all options to address the situation.

Marcus Ewert-Johns, of the group Canadian Manufactures and Exporters, says it's ironic that the U.S. is enforcing its restrictive trade policies on a project that sits on land owned by the Canadian government.


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