Minister Fast Travels to U.S. Capital to Advance Canadian Interests

Continuing to strengthen Canada-U.S. partnership key to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity on both sides of border

September 26, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today met with key U.S. political leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to advance key trade issues for Canadians. This is Minister Fast’s 10th visit to Washington since becoming minister of international trade.

“The Canada-United States relationship is the world’s greatest free trade success story,” said Minister Fast. “High-quality jobs and greater prosperity for Americans and Canadians alike depend on the trading relationship between our two countries. That’s why I continue to make frequent trips to Washington to hold meetings with U.S. decision makers and advance our countries’ shared interests.”

Today was Minister Fast’s first face-to-face meeting with Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, since she took office in June. Minister Fast and Secretary Pritzker took stock of the progress made to date and committed to intensified work in the future, regarding the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council action plans. Announced by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, these two initiatives focus on enhancing the two countries’ common security, prosperity and economic competitiveness by increasing regulatory alignment and efficiency at the border. 

Minister Fast also met with his counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, to discuss various Canada-U.S. trade matters. He also raised concerns about U.S. country of origin labelling rules, which hinder the ability of Canadian cattle and hog producers to compete freely in the U.S. market and which also hurt U.S. industry and consumers.

Minister Fast also met with several U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Chuck Grassley and representatives Dave Camp and Charles Boustany. During these meetings, he highlighted Canada’s role as a secure and reliable energy partner for the United States.

The Harper government and the Obama administration have asked for stakeholder inputs in order to prepare a course of action for the next phase of regulatory cooperation. Canadians have been invited to share their views with the government between August 31 and October 11, 2013, by email to rcc-ccr@pco-bcp.gc.ca. For more information, please visit Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council — Stakeholder Request for Comment, Summer 2013. The U.S. government has posted its notice at Requests for Information: U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council.

More than 10 million jobs in both countries depend on Canada-United States trade—8 million in the United States and 2.4 million in Canada. Canada and the United States are each other’s largest export market, and Canada is the number one foreign market for goods in 38 of the 50 states. Canada-United States bilateral trade in goods and services surpassed $742.5 billion in 2012, with more than $2 billion worth of goods and services crossing the border daily—or more than $1.4 million traded every minute.

For more information, please consult Minister Fast Travels to U.S. Capital.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
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