Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Harper Must Sell Canada’s Importance to U.S. Economy: Experts

(The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has one crucial mission when he meets Barack Obama for the first time Thursday - convince him that America’s economic future is irrevocably linked with Canada’s.

With the U.S. heading toward the worst slump since the Great Depression, the rookie president is under intense domestic pressure to put America first, as the recent inclusion of protectionist language in the US$800-billion stimulus package attests.

Business leaders and economists say it’s essential that Harper impress on Obama the importance of maintaining open borders and liberalized trade between the two countries, particularly during the current economic crisis.

“It would be marvellous if there were a joint declaration by both Obama and Harper saying they resolutely reject protectionism,” said Thomas d’Aquino, head of the association representing Canada’s largest corporations.

“It’s not only good for Canada and the U.S., it would be a signal to the world that the two countries that are most heavily inter-dependent on trade feel strongly on this.” Read more here.