Minister Van Loan Meets with U.S. Trade Representative Kirk

Strengthening economic cooperation and bolstering trade between Canada and the United States

(No. 234 - July 22, 2010 - 2:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today met with Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, to discuss greater economic cooperation between Canada and the United States.


Minister Peter Van Loan with his American counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, following their bi-annual trade meeting in Ottawa on July 22, 2010.

“Ambassador Kirk and I recently agreed to hold regular, twice-yearly trade summits to build on our bilateral relationship and address challenges more quickly and effectively,” said Minister Van Loan. “These meetings are an opportunity to discuss progress on the issues that create jobs and generate prosperity for Canadians and Americans alike.”

Minister Van Loan and Ambassador Kirk discussed a wide range of issues, including the Canada–United States Agreement on Government Procurement, which resolved the Buy American issue earlier this year. Building on the commitments made at the G-20 Summit, they also discussed the need to avoid protectionism and increase the $1.6 billion in trade that crosses the border every day.

At Canada’s G-8 and G-20 summits, member nations agreed to follow through on fiscal stimulus while looking to halve deficits by 2013 and stabilize debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016. The Government of Canada has made opening new markets a priority. Prime Minister Harper has often emphasized the single greatest threat to recovery is protectionism.

That is why Canada’s Economic Action Plan created a tariff-free zone for manufacturers that will keep Canada leading on the world stage and open for business. Canadian businesses and workers can compete with their international counterparts, confident that the Government of Canada is helping to entrench economic recovery and lay the foundations for sustainable growth.

Following his meeting with Ambassador Kirk, Minister Van Loan announced that the United States had agreed to transfer to Canada the collection of a 10-percent customs duty currently imposed on softwood lumber products imported into the United States from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. As of September 1, 2010, Canada will begin collecting this duty from the four provinces. This export charge stems from a London Court of International Arbitration Tribunal Award under the Softwood Lumber Agreement.

The revenue collected from this tax will stay in Canada and be distributed back to the four provinces.

The success of the Canada-United States partnership is clear:

  • In 2009, more than $1.6-billion worth of trade crossed the border every day.
  • Canada is the top export destination for 34 states.
  • The United States is the largest foreign investor in Canada and the most popular destination for Canadian investment.

Download a high resolution version of this photo

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade
613-992-9304

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000