Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Harper Stresses Importance of Trade

(Sinclair Stewart — Globe & Mail)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper swept into Manhattan for a series of high-level meetings on the economic crisis Monday, publicly promoting open trade between Canada and the United States while privately casting about for input on how best to deal with worsening financial conditions at home.

Mr. Harper, looking to extend the momentum generated by U.S. President Barack Obama’s inaugural visit to Ottawa last week, warned against the escalating protectionist rhetoric in the United States and overseas, and took pains to remind Americans that cross-border trade will play a vital role in the recovery of both countries.

However, he also insisted that the global economy will remain mired in recession until Washington figures out a way to revive its ailing banks.

“The fact of the matter is, President Obama has a massive mess on his hands – and it is essential that the United States somehow stabilize its financial sector,” he said during an interview with Fox Business News. “Because if we don’t stabilize the financial sector, in the United States and abroad, we will not turn this recession around.” Read more here.