On Thursday, Peter Van Loan, Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Ambassador Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative met to discuss greater economic cooperation between our two countries and announced an agreement in support of these goals.
Canada and the U.S. have the strongest trade relationship in the world. We are the top export destination for 34 American states, and the U.S. is both the largest foreign investor in Canada and the most popular destination for Canadian investment.
Through these meetings, our Conservative Government is taking action to find ways we can enhance our mutual efforts to create jobs and economic growth for Canadians and Americans alike. Conservatives believe that protectionist tendencies are the single greatest threat to long-term recovery in Canada, and for the entire world economy. That’s why our Government is committed to open borders and free markets, while understanding that markets require prudent, transparent regulation and oversight. As evident at the G-8 and G-20 Summits, Canadians can count on our Government to oppose protectionism and defend free trade on the world stage.
In fact, today’s meetings build on the commitments made at the G-20 to avoid protectionism and increase the $1.6 billion in trade that crosses our border every day. The United States has agreed to transfer the Softwood Lumber export charges to Canada. The revenue collected from this tax will stay in Canada and be distributed back to the affected provinces.
Canadian businesses and workers can compete with the best in the world. Canadians can have confidence that we are promoting economic recovery and laying the foundations for sustainable growth.