Released on March 30, 2017
Premier Brad Wall is travelling to Washington D.C. next week to raise awareness of the importance of Canada-U.S. trade and the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“Canada and the United States have built the largest trading relationship in the world, a vibrant partnership that has created millions of jobs on both sides of the border,” Wall said.
“NAFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, accounting for 28 per cent of the world’s GDP with less than seven per cent of the world’s population. With a new administration in place in Washington, it is vital that we highlight the value of free trade and the risks associated with protectionism. Saskatchewan is a trade dependent province. We need to do everything we can to ensure our exporters have access to our most important market.”
During the visit, from April 3 to April 6, Wall will meet with Senators, members of the House of Representatives, and senior administration officials.
On Wednesday April 5, Wall will deliver a keynote address at the Heritage Foundation, where he will also participate in a round table discussion on trade, energy and economic policy.
The United States is Saskatchewan’s largest customer, accounting for about half of the province’s total exports, shipments valued at $12.9 billion in 2016. Last year, the value of Saskatchewan’s exports to just two states - Minnesota and Illinois – surpassed what the province exported to China. Meanwhile, the U.S. was the source of 83 per cent of Saskatchewan imports in 2016.
Last year, the U.S. had a trade surplus with Canada, the only trade surplus it posted among its five largest customers.
“It’s important to remember that billions of dollars in trade flows both ways across the Canada-U.S. border so any barrier to the free flow of trade would be harmful to both countries,” Wall said.
In addition to promoting the importance of trade, Wall will tell the Saskatchewan story, emphasizing the province’s role as one of the world’s top producers of energy, food and fertilizer and its status as a research leader in energy, carbon capture and storage and biosciences.
“I’m looking forward to discussing the Saskatchewan Advantage with our American friends,” Wall said. “We have a lot to offer in the area of energy and food security. And Saskatchewan is a welcoming place for investment. This mission affords us an opportunity to strengthen our most important trade relationship and to say thank you to our best friend and closest ally.”
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