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Today, I spoke at a trade event hosted by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce where I outlined three opportunities for Canada and the United States to strengthen their relationship.
President Truman once characterized our relationship in these words: “Canada and the United States have reached the point where we no longer think of each other as ‘foreign’ countries. We think of each other as friends, as peaceful and cooperative neighbours on a spacious and fruitful continent.
This morning, I spoke at the Palm Beach Strategic Forum as part of a panel on energy. I delivered the message that Canada is a secure and reliable source of energy.
Canada has been blessed with a natural resource endowment that is second to none. We are the world’s second largest producer of uranium and the second largest forest product exporter. We are the third largest producer of natural gas and hydro electricity and the sixth largest producer of crude oil. But, Canada’s role as an energy leader is not based on geological accident alone. Our stable political environment, independent regulators and our openness to trade and foreign investment are key components of Canada’s status as an energy superpower.
Ottawa, March 21, 2013—The measures announced in today’s budget are a significant step forward in the federal government’s attack on Canada’s skills challenge. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomes a more activist approach by all Canada’s governments to confront a growing problem.
“The skills problem leads our Top Ten list of critical barriers to Canada’s competitiveness,” says Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “It’s showing up all across the country, in every industry. We are pleased to see the government is moving to confront it, and to include business directly in the solutions.”
We welcome Canada’s participation in international negotiations on a services agreement.
The services sector is a vital component of the Canadian economy, accounting for approximately 70 per cent of Canadian GDP and nearly four out of five Canadian jobs. We are pleased Canada has joined with other like-minded countries in the negotiation of an international agreement on services. This week, a diverse group of 21 countries are participating in talks in Geneva, Switzerland to reach a new international services agreement. When combined, these countries account for 70 per cent of global trade in services. The last major services negotiation occurred almost 20 years and resulted in the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).