Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on the federal government to provide temporary financial relief to companies impacted by supply chain disruptions, and work to resolve Buy America and other protectionist measures to mitigate serious challenges faced by manufacturers.
Appearing before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Dennis Darby, CME president and CEO, told committee members the supply chain crisis touches every part of manufacturing and its impacts on Canadian businesses are serious. He said there was no immediate end in sight.
“Simply put, these problems are holding back the manufacturing sector’s recovery and, by extension, the recovery of the overall economy” Darby told the committee.
“I cannot overstate the severity of the challenges Canadian manufacturers face here. This is why we need bold action to address it now,” Darby said.
Darby also told the committee that manufacturers need workers, and called for measures to relieve labour shortages, encouraging the government to increase intake targets to 500,000 per year in the economic stream.
Ninety percent affected
A recent CME survey found that nine out of 10 Canadian manufacturers are encountering supply chain issues, with over 60 percent rating the impact of these disruptions as either major or severe. As a result, manufacturers say they have lost about $10.5 billion in sales and 80 percent of manufacturers have been forced to increase prices and delay fulfilling customer orders.
In his testimony, Darby urged the government to prevent further blockades or disruptions to Canada’s transportation network, adopt a national manufacturing strategy that maps out Canada’s industrial supply chains, and speed up investments into manufacturing and Canada’s trade infrastructure.
“CME supports the work of this committee and of the federal government to fix these problems and I believe the solutions we proposed are a good place to start. CME looks forward to rolling up our sleeves and to working with government in the months ahead to tackle our supply chain challenges,” he concluded.
The manufacturing sector represents more than 10 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product. Manufacturers directly support more than 1.7 million jobs in Canada. Total manufacturing sales in 2019 surpassed $685 billion.