Canada, U.S. agree to strengthen economic co-op, trade

18:40, July 23, 2010      

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Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan met on Thursday with Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, in Ottawa to discuss greater economic cooperation between Canada and the United States.

They discussed a wide range of issues, including the Canada-United States Agreement on Government Procurement, which resolved the Buy American issue earlier this year.

Building on the commitments made at the G-20 Summit, they also discussed the need to avoid protectionism and increase the 1.6 billion Canadian dollars in trade that crosses the border every day.

Following their meeting, Van Loan and Kirk told a press conference that the United States had agreed to transfer to Canada the collection of a 10 percent customs duty currently imposed on softwood lumber products imported into the United States from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

As of Sept. 1, 2010, Canada will begin collecting this duty from the four provinces, and the revenue collected from this tax will stay in Canada and be distributed back to the four provinces.

This export charge stems from a London Court of International Arbitration Tribunal Award under the Softwood Lumber Agreement.

In 2009, more than 1.6 billion Canadian dollars worth of trade crossed the border every day.

Canada is the top export destination for 34 states, and the United States is the largest foreign investor in Canada and the most popular destination for Canadian investment.

"Ambassador Kirk and I recently agreed to hold regular, twice-yearly trade summits to build on our bilateral relationship and address challenges more quickly and effectively," said Minister Van Loan.

"These meetings are an opportunity to discuss progress on the issues that create jobs and generate prosperity for Canadians and Americans alike," he added.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王千原雪)

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