Obama Talks Trade, Energy in Canada

President Barack Obama, on his first official trip abroad, is in Canada today, meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other high level Canadian government officials. Talks have been wide-ranging, but have reportedly focused on trade and energy.

Both these relationships are incredibly important: Canada and America are each others' largest trading partners – indeed, it is the largest trade relationship at the world, and the Canadian-American energy relationship is vast. Among other notable items, the United States imports more oil from Canada than anywhere else, and the American and Canadian electrical grids are integrated.  

Reuters reports that everyone seems to have left pretty happy, with an agreement on energy and Obama having calmed Canada about the "Buy American" provisions of the economic recovery legislation:

The United States and Canada, two significant greenhouse gas emitters, agreed on Thursday to work together on new energy technologies to fight climate change, saying it was key to recovery from global recession.

Obama calmed Canadian fears about a "Buy American" clause in the $787 billion U.S. economic recovery plan agreed last week. Canadians fear it will hurt commerce between the two countries, which have the world's largest trading partnership.

"Now is a time where we have to be very careful about any signals of protectionism," Obama told a joint news conference after several hours of talks with Harper. He stressed the United States would meet its international trade obligations.

"I'm quite confident that the United States will respect those obligations and continue to be a leader on the need for globalized trade," Harper said.

More on the Canadian intervention in the American election

Should the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ask the Canadian PM to come to DC and explain the Canadian governments intervention in an American election?

It sure appears that the multiple leaks out of the Canadian government were targeted to tank Barack Obama. The GOP in Washington would much prefer to run against Senator Clinton, and these leaks appear to be an effort by conservatives in Canada to help their ideological cousins in the US by hurting Obama at a critical point in the election.

Josh Marshall has new information showing definitively that the Canadian leaks were designed to hurt Obama. New news accounts show the Clinton camp had similar conversations with the Canadians as the Obama camp - but only the Obama conversations were leaked. What makes this particularly gauling is that Senator Clinton has been much more critical of NAFTA than the junior Senator from Illinois.

So, Senator Biden, what to make of all this?

Syndicate content