President Obama and PM Harper: Keep U.S.-Canada Trade Open

By February 19, 2009Trade

Good message on trade coming from the meetings in Ottawa between President Obama, on his first trip abroad, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Bloomberg, “Obama Says U.S., Canada Must Avoid Erecting Barriers to Trade”

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said the U.S. and Canada must avoid erecting trade barriers or impeding cross- border commerce amid a worldwide recession.

Obama also said he raised with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper the idea of putting labor and environmental provisions within the main body of the North American Free Trade Agreement without unraveling the accord.

“Now is a time when we’ve got to be very careful about any signals of protectionism,” Obama said at a joint news conference with Harper in Ottawa.

Canada and the U.S. have the world’s largest commercial relationship, with almost $600 billion in trade annually. Each nation is the other’s largest trading partner.

Reuters, “Canada PM says confident U.S. will meet trade obligations“:

OTTAWA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday he is confident that the United States will live up to its international trade obligations under NAFTA and the WTO in relation to the “Buy American” clause in the recent U.S. stimulus package.

Harper, speaking at a joint news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama, said that Canada’s economy cannot recover without a recovery by the U.S. economy.

Canada and the United States have the world’s largest trading relationship, worth about $1.5 billion a day. ($1=$1.26 Canadian)

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