Minister Van Loan Promotes Deeper Canada-U.S. Ties

Twice-annual trade meetings will keep Canada-U.S. trade relationship growing even stronger

(No. 143 - April 23, 2010 - 12:20 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today wrapped up his first official visit to Washington, D.C., where he and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk agreed to hold regular meetings to keep the Canada-U.S. trade relationship strong.

Minister Peter Van Loan with his counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, prior to their April 22, 2010, meeting in Washington, D.C.

“The United States is Canada’s most valuable trading partner and it is important that we have meetings twice a year to seize the opportunities and address the challenges that lie ahead of us,” said Minister Van Loan. “Building on our already strong economic partnership with the United States helps create jobs, stimulates our economies and ensures our long-term competitiveness. I look forward to welcoming Ambassador Kirk to Canada this summer.”

In 2009, Canada-U.S. bilateral trade in goods and services was over $592.7 billion, with $1.6-billion worth of goods and services crossing the Canada-U.S. border every single day.

In addition, Minister Van Loan and Ambassador Kirk discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including the importance of resisting protectionist tendencies and continuing to promote free and open trade, additional access to procurement markets on a permanent basis, the softwood lumber agreement and future multilateral trade agreement opportunities. The Minister emphasized that a lasting economic recovery should be the top priority for our partners worldwide.

“We also reiterated the importance of our long-standing, expansive and deep trading relationship, underpinned by NAFTA, which benefits citizens on both sides of the border,” said the Minister.

During his visit, Minister Van Loan also met with other U.S. government officials, and with industry and business leaders from key U.S. business associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The Minister also met with representatives from several Washington-based think tanks, to whom he outlined the Government of Canada’s aggressive free trade agenda.

 For more details, consult Ministerial visit to Washington, D.C.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada