International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan Consults Fort Erie Company on Canada-U.S. Trade

Harper government committed to opening markets and creating opportunities for Canadians

(No. 101 - March 14, 2011 - 4:25 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today visited Canusa Logistics, a company based in Fort Erie, Ontario, to discuss Canada’s economic ties with the United States. Minister Van Loan was in Fort Erie following the important announcement made on March 13, 2011, to launch the Harper government’s public consultation on the Shared Vision for Canada-U.S. Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.

“The economy remains our government’s top priority,” said Minister Van Loan. “The U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner and our countries enjoy the most successful free trade relationship in the world. Our free trade agreement allows businesses on both sides of the border to take full advantage of our geographic proximity, cultural connection and strong people-to-people ties.”

The trade relationship between Canada and the United States is the strongest in the world. Canada is the top export destination for 34 American states, and the United States is also the largest foreign investor in Canada and the most popular destination for Canadian investment. Approximately $1.8 billion worth of goods and services crosses the Canada-U.S. border every day and an estimated 3.4 million jobs in Canada are linked to Canada-U.S. free trade.

“Prime Minister Harper and President Obama’s recently announced Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness will further strengthen the Canada-U.S. economic ties,” added Minister Van Loan. “Our government is committed to accelerating the legitimate flow of people, goods and services between our two countries to create opportunities for Canadian businesses and jobs for Canadian workers.”

Representatives from Canusa Logistics and Minister Van Loan discussed the opportunities that a more efficient Canada-U.S. border would create for Canadian businesses.

“Businesses that specialize in the movement of goods and services across the Canada-U.S. border have an important contribution to make to our government’s consultations on the Shared Vision for Canada-U.S. Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness,” added Minister Van Loan. “I’m here today to encourage Canusa Logistics, and other Canadian companies and workers, to go to BorderActionPlan.gc.ca and provide their expertise and input to the consultations.”

The Harper government is committed to an ambitious free trade agenda to create opportunities for Canadians. In only five years, the government has signed free trade agreements with eight countries. This past year, the government also successfully negotiated a deal exempting Canadian companies and workers from the U.S. stimulus program’s Buy American policy. Canada is the only country in the world to obtain such a waiver.

For more information on the public consultation or to submit comments, consult Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.

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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
613-992-9304
monika.bujalska@international.gc.ca

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