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January 10, 2009 (11:35 a.m. EST)
No. 6

Visit to California: Minister Day Reinforces the Importance of Trade Relationship with U.S. in Advance of President-elect Obama Taking Office

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, has made his first visit to the United States, in advance of President-elect Barack Obama taking office on January 20, 2009.

"We have built a strong and durable trade relationship with the United States over the years and we must continue to aggressively pursue this already robust relationship, especially during these difficult economic times," said Minister Day. "California is Canada's fourth-largest market in the world. In 2007, Canada exported $25.2 billion in goods and services to California, which is twice the level of exports to China, India, Brazil and Russia combined ($13.7 billion). There is no doubt that California is a major market for Canadian goods and services. I came here to further strengthen links and promote opportunities for Canadian business."

Building on Canada and California's strong collaboration in the area of research and development, Minister Day participated in a round table with research leaders at the University of California to discuss the Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership (CCSIP) program. The Minister expressed his desire to foster greater collaborative R&D between Canada and California.

The round table also focused on the CCSIP program's recent successes in various areas of research and reviewed emerging opportunities for Canadian-California partnership in biofuels and infectious disease research.

While in Los Angeles, Minister Day also took the opportunity to visit a Canadian company, COM DEV, a leader in space and satellite communications technology.

"Canadian companies have proven to be world-class competitors, and opening doors to companies such as COM DEV is something that I will pursue vigorously," concluded Minister Day.

Earlier in the day, this message was also conveyed to a capacity audience of Los Angeles business leaders at a luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Members responded warmly to the Minister's remarks, acknowledging and congratulating Canada on its recent economic performance and fiscal prudence.

Minister Day also made a visit to the prestigious Museum of Tolerance where he paid respect to the victims of the Holocaust.

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For further information or photos, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada