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United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk meets with Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- United States Trade Representative Ronald Kirk met today with Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day. This was the first meeting between the two trade ministers. Ambassador Kirk and Minister Day discussed the importance of the U.S.-Canada bilateral trading relationship and how it stands as a model of mutually-beneficial trade relations.

The two ministers discussed the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round and the importance of achieving a successful outcome that will spur new economic opportunities and contribute to global development and growth. The Ministers engaged in a discussion of specific bilateral issues including softwood lumber, intellectual property rights, country-of-origin labeling (COOL), and a U.S. tax credit designed to encourage the use of alternative fuels.

"During President Obama's trip to Ottawa in February, the President made it clear that the United States wants to "grow trade and not contract it" and he underscored the importance of trade to the United States, Canada and the global economy, I sent that same message to Minister Day today" Ambassador Kirk said. "Minister Day and I discussed how trade plays a key role in our nations' economies and the world economy as well. Canada is the United States' largest bilateral trading partner. Since 1989, our trading relationship has been anchored by a free trade agreement. Our trading relationship is dynamic and deeply integrated, with more than $1.6 billion in goods crossing our border each day. I look forward to working with Minister Day to find ways to make our trading relationship even stronger. We have a great track record here to build upon."

BACKGROUND

Canada is our largest bilateral trading partner with more than $1.6 billion in goods crossing our border each day. Two-way trade (exports plus imports) totaled $597 billion in 2008. U.S. exports to Canada were $261.4 billion and imports from Canada were $335.6 billion resulting in a goods trade deficit of $74.2 billion in 2008. U.S. services exports totaled $42.9 billion and imports totaled $24.6 billion in 2007.