January 24, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today made the following statement about the departure of Ambassador Ron Kirk from the position of United States trade representative at the end of February:
“On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I want to thank Ambassador Ron Kirk for his efforts over the past four years to strengthen the Canada-United States relationship, the world’s greatest free trade success story.
“The Canada-United States partnership is an example of how opening borders to increased trade is the ultimate path to prosperity. Canada and the United States share the largest bilateral flow of goods, services, people and capital between any two countries in the world, with approximately $1.3 million worth of goods and services crossing the border every minute.
“Ambassador Kirk and I both recognize that good jobs and greater prosperity for Americans and Canadians alike depend on our trading relationship, which includes the integrated supply chains that have created an enviable competitive advantage for both our countries. These supply chains are a result of the tremendous trade and investment ties between our two countries and are linked to eight million U.S. jobs and approximately 2.5 million jobs in Canada.
“Always committed to further improving our trade relationship, Ambassador Kirk and I were able to sign an extension to the Softwood Lumber Agreement that will provide stability and certainty to industry and consumers on both sides of the border until 2015.
“We’ve also worked together to implement the Beyond the Border Action Plan to develop a perimeter approach to security and economic competitiveness.
“I particularly want to thank Ambassador Kirk for his support of Canada’s exemption from Buy American legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress during the global recession.
“Finally, I want to thank Ambassador Kirk for his support of Canada’s joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will develop new sources of growth and prosperity in our countries.
“I wish Ambassador Kirk the best in his next endeavour. Thanks to his leadership, the Canada-U.S. relationship is as strong and mutually beneficial as ever.”
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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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