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buy american protectionism?-not if Canadian ministers can help it

Tuesday 10 February, 2009

I attended this event last week: Moving Forward: Energy and the Canada-US Relationship in the Current Economy featuring Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan & Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba.  It was sponsored by  The Illinois Chamber of Commerce & The Canadian Consulate Genera in Chicago.  Here’s what they had to say:

Premier Wall:  Saskatchewan is home to lots of natural resources, such as 23% of the world’s uranium reserves, 1/4 of all mustard seeds, & 32% of lentils.  Saskatchewan leads Canada in per capita growth.  His main message was directed towards Washington in emphasizing that protectionism (& the Buy American provisions of the recovery package) is not an option in solving the global financial crisis.  Global trading partners retaliate in kind, & we’re all worse off.  Canadians will take their conflict-free energy resources elsewhere, & that would be devastating to the US.  Canada is the #1 export market for 35 US states, so to mess with that would be folly.

Premier Doer:  Boeing has a plant in Winnipeg & Norad has been based there for 50 years, providing perimeter security for all of North America.  Manitoba sends 500,000 tourists to Chicago & $41B in exports to Illinois.  He mirrored Premier Wall in saying we need some midwestern common sense in Washington.  If we put up walls, we’ll bring down jobs.   Jonathon Toews of the Blackhawks is from Manitoba.  The star of the event was Israel Idonije, defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears, who played college football @ the University of Manitoba.

Q&A:

There is no dirty oil (from oil sands) in Saskatchewan yet, but is coming.  Canada is working on reducing this footprint by drilling & not excavating.

Canada is considering a stimulus package similar to that of the US, but smaller on a per capita basis.  It includes infrastructure, 1 lawyer for each megawatt of energy, & invests in knowledge to enhance competitiveness in the future as well.

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