US, Canada unveil new measures to facilitate tradeDecember 8th, 2011 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Dec 8 (IANS) Declaring job creation as his highest priority, US President Barack Obama has unveiled new measures with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to facilitate trade and travel between the two neighbours, who are each other’s biggest trading partner.
Appearing from his talks with Harper at the White House, Obama told reporters Wednesday that “our focus today is on our highest priority, and my top priority as president, that’s creating jobs faster and growing the economy faster”.
“And in this mission, Canada has a special role to play,” he added, noting that Canada is US’ single largest trading partner and its top export market, supporting some 1.7 million “good-paying” American jobs, reported Xinhua.
He said that through new regulatory coordination efforts, “We’re going to make it easier to conduct the trade and travel that creates jobs, and we’re going to make it harder for those who do us harm and threaten our security”.
“Because of old systems and heavy congestion, it still takes too many products too long to cross the borders,” he explained.
“And for every business, either Canadian or American, time is money.”
On his part, Harper said the agreements he reached with Obama “create a new, modern border for a new century” and hailed them as “the most significant steps” in bilateral relations since NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement that joins markets of the US, Canada and Mexico and entered into force in 1994.
According to the White House, total trade and investment between the US and Canada topped $1.1 trillion in 2010, and US exports to Canada grew more than to the rest of the world.
Obama, who is seeking re-election in 2012, had pledged to double US exports by 2014.
Security measures put in place after the Sep 11, 2001 attacks on the US have added red tape and logjams on the borders, raising concerns from business groups in both countries.
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Tags: american time, barack obama, bilateral relations, business groups, canadian prime minister, canadian prime minister stephen harper, coordination efforts, export market, free trade agreement, job creation, mission canada, north america free trade agreement, prime minister stephen harper, red tape, security measures, sep 11 2001, stephen harper, time is money, top priority, xinhua