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Canada cries foul over US protectionism

Canada cries foul over US protectionism article image

With bilateral trade at almost US$600 billion a year, the Canada-USA relationship is an enviable one. However, Canada has addressed 'Buy American' provisions in the US economic stimulus package as potentially harmful for Canada. About 75 percent of Canadian exports head to the USA. Of particular concern was the US$787 billion stimulus package that had a provision about public works projects using iron, steel and other goods made in the United States, as long as that did not contravene commitments to trade agreements. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper believed this was evidence of "creeping protectionism". "Canadians are worried by a rising tide of protectionism in the United States, in various circles, and our government is very concerned in particular about the negative impact of the 'Buy American' legislation being felt on Canadian businesses," said Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon. Cannon met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who reiterated that the provisions would not interfere with international trade obligations. "We also have been very focused on ensuring that nothing interferes with the trade between our countries," said Clinton of the Canadian relationship.

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