The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today began a successful visit to Washington, D.C., where he discussed trade issues with United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Tomorrow, the Minister will also address the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Ambassador Kirk and I had a productive meeting on a wide range of topics,” said Minister Day. “We reiterated our shared commitment to support trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, and also through the Canada-US economic relationship.”
The Minister also expressed Canada’s views on issues including country-of-origin labelling, “Buy American” provisions, softwood lumber, the enforcement of intellectual property rights, and the alternative fuel mixture, or “black liquor,” credit.
“We agreed to maintain a high-level engagement to resolve these issues,” explained Minister Day.
With Secretary Locke, the Minister discussed the importance of reducing impediments to trade across the Canada-U.S. border.
“We agreed to ensure that trade, investment, capital and services flow smoothly within North America,” said Minister Day. “I also explained how Canada has successfully eliminated over 1,600 requirements previously imposed on commercial clients by the Canadian Border Services Agency.”
Through the Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative, Canada is making its commercial process clearer and easier for businesses to understand.
Tomorrow, Minister Day will give a speech to a forum of U.S. and Canadian businesses at the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
“I plan to highlight the need to open doors to commercial cooperation wherever we can, while resisting protectionist impulses. I will also emphasize Canada’s aggressive free trade agenda and the importance of NAFTA to North American prosperity.
“Strengthening our economic partnership with the United States will help create jobs, stimulate our economies and ensure our long-term competitiveness. Canadians and Americans can work through this economic crisis as previous generations have in the past: as allies, partners and friends,” concluded Minister Day.
Canada and the U.S. have one of the world’s most successful commercial partnerships. More than $2 billion worth of goods and services and more than 300,000 people cross the border each day. In 2008, Canadian merchandise exports to the U.S. totalled $376.3 billion and imports were $226.9 billion.
More details of Minister Day’s trip to Washington can be found at: International Trade: Minister Day promotes Canada-U.S. ties in Washington.
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For further information, and high-resolution photographs, media representatives may contact:
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