Monday, February 2, 2009

Day Only “Slightly Encouraged” After U.S. Meeting

(CTV News)

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day is only “slightly encouraged” after meeting with his U.S. counterpart to talk about a “Buy American” proposal that could cripple cross-border trade.

Day met with U.S. economic envoy Peter Allgeier at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on the weekend.

They discussed a proposed amendment to the US$880 billion stimulus bill that could, in part, keep Canadian steel products out of the U.S.

Day believes the move violates the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He said he made Canada’s position clear to Allgeier, but came away from the meeting with little more than a hint of reassurance that Canada would be exempted from the measure.

“I was slightly encouraged — and I say slightly because it’s a very serious issue with no guarantees that we will come out with what we want here,” Day told CTV’s Canada AM.

“He said he had been following closely our position, he had been following what the prime minister said last week in the House of Commons and he’d been following what I have been saying.”

Day said U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration appears to be taking the issue seriously, but is making no promises that the end result will be in Canada’s favour. Read more here.