Premiers Focused on Expanding International Trade and Relationships

Premiers Focused on Expanding International Trade and Relationships

SASKATOON, SK, July 10, 2019 – Canada and the United States (U.S.) are long-standing allies and neighbours who enjoy a partnership based on shared geography, economic and security interests, democratic values and family and personal relationships.

Even with Canada’s close relationship with the U.S., continuing to build a strong and diverse economy for Canadian workers, families and businesses requires Canada to further build on other international trade agreements and to look for new opportunities in emerging markets. Canada is also a northern nation with a vast Arctic that faces emerging geo-political shifts, in addition to significant development opportunities and challenges.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Canada and U.S. share a long-standing and mutually beneficial connection, having one of the largest bilateral trading partnerships in the world. In 2018, bilateral trade between Canada and the U.S. exceeded C$742 billion, representing over C$2.0 billion worth of goods crossing the border every day. Trade and investment with Canada support nearly 9 million jobs in the U.S. Premiers pledged to continue their outreach to U.S. leaders at both the federal and state level in order to highlight the benefits of fair and open Canada-U.S. trade and procurement practices. They discussed the results of their joint mission to Washington, D.C. in February 2019, and expressed a desire to undertake similar missions in the future.

Premiers expressed concern over the growing use of protectionist measures by the U.S., including Buy America requirements at both the federal and state level, and the federal government must work to ensure Canadian exporters are exempt from these policies. They noted the recent decision by Bombardier to lay off workers, is in part, a result of Buy America policies of the U.S. government related to transit procurement. The federal government must take a greater leadership role to ensure Canadian companies are exempt from Buy America given our closely integrated economies. They agreed to work collaboratively to encourage open procurement policies on both sides of the border, consistent with all trade commitments and obligations. The scope of these commitments must provide the necessary leeway to governments to address concerns regarding legitimate local content requirements in key public procurement sectors.

Premiers discussed the current impasse with regard to the World Trade Organization’s (WTOs) dispute settlement mechanism. The U.S. has pursued a strategy of blocking appointments and reappointments of Appellate Body members. This impasse poses a critical threat to WTO dispute adjudication and to the effective application of WTO rules. The proper resolution of disputes is central to the interests of Canadian provinces and territories, especially in the areas of softwood lumber and grain trades.