Sunday, February 15, 2009

Canada to Use ‘Intensive’ Approach in Washington

(CTV News)

Canada will push American legislators to be mindful of their international trade commitments as the U.S. moves ahead with its massive US$787 billion stimulus bill that includes amended, but still contentious, “Buy American” provisions.

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day said Sunday that Canada will employ a “collaborative but intensive” approach in Washington over the next few months.

“We’re going to be protecting Canadian interests and working in a collaborative way, but reminding our trading partners in the U.S. that we have agreements and we live up to our agreements and we expect all our partners to do the same,” Day told CTV’s Question Period.

While President Barack Obama has made it clear that the U.S. cannot renege on its trade commitments in implementing its “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill, Day said that Canada has some concerns.

“It will be a matter of political will to make sure that the other parts of that bill, which suggest that only U.S. products — iron, steel and other products — can be used in the bidding of their own infrastructure process,” Day said. Read more here.