The recent notice of a limited strike by the longshoremen’s union, including no work at all on weekends, is devastating not only to Canada’s economic competitiveness, but also to its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Honourable Perrin Beatty, issued the following statement today in response to the European Commission (Commission)’s introduction of an export authorization regime for COVID-19 vaccines.
“COVID-19 is a global pandemic requiring global solutions. Despite the temptation to keep vaccines within a country’s borders, the world economy will only emerge from this pandemic once there is widespread distribution of the vaccine across all continents.
“We are deeply concerned with the Commission’s decision to introduce a vaccine authorization scheme for export of COVID-19 vaccines and its inputs. Given the concentrated nature of vaccine production, this regime creates significant uncertainty for vaccine manufacturers, logistic companies, citizens, and businesses globally.
“Although we welcome the assurances provided to the Government of Canada, Canadians remain exposed to potential delays and cutbacks, given the Commission’s intention to assess export authorizations on the basis of impacts on the EU’s advance purchase agreements. The authorization scheme also contradicts the spirit of the Ottawa Group Trade and Health Initiative and the Commission’s longstanding policies opposing measures that impede global supply chains, as well as risking encouraging other countries to implement similar actions that disrupt the manufacturing and flow of vaccines.
“We call upon the Commission at a minimum to commit to granting export authorizations for all applications. Given the importance of global cooperation and efficient global supply chains for medical products, cooperation between the Commission, the Government of Canada, and others will be increasingly important as vaccine production capacity increases.”
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.
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