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Corporate Canada takes comfort after Trump talks of ‘outstanding trade relationship’

Corporate Canada takes comfort after Trump talks of ‘outstanding trade relationship’

IAN BICKIS, THE CANADIAN PRESS 02.14.2017

CALGARY – The sigh from the C-Suite was one of relief as Canadian business leaders took comfort Monday in the positive tone on trade struck by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump.

From the forestry industry to the automotive sector to the oilpatch, Corporate Canada kept a close eye on the first one-on-one meeting between the two leaders, parsing every word they uttered for clues on the future of trade between the two countries.

Trump, who won the U.S. election campaigning on a promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, beamed about America’s “very outstanding trade relationship with Canada.”

The president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, which represents companies that are acutely integrated across North America, said Trump’s comments were a welcome affirmation of what he’s been quietly hearing from U.S. officials over the last couple of months.

“We were pleasantly surprised that the president would have used as many superlatives when discussing his view on Canada as a trading partner,” Flavio Volpe said.

Volpe said that going forward, he’ll be emphasizing how much America — and American consumers — have benefited from one of the most integrated industries in the world.

“We’re happy to share any and all data and give them a sense of how American interests have been well-served in all three countries.”

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