Alberta Premier Notley heading to Washington at month’s end to talk trade

Notley to head to Washington to talk trade

CALGARY — Premier Rachel Notley is to head to Washington, D.C., at the end of the month to promote Alberta and highlight existing trade ties.

Notley says she plans to meet with as many policy-makers as possible to remind them that supporting Canadian business helps U.S. business.

“Trade with the United States represents a significant part of our economy and we need to make sure that those interests are protected,” Notley said Friday.

“There’s a pretty strong consensus among the premiers and the prime minister that probably the best way to do that is to get in front of as many people as we can to describe how much the relationship with Canadian business actually benefits American business.”

She says an itinerary will be firmed up in the days to come.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travels to the U.S. capital on Monday to meet with President Donald Trump. Congress and Trump are publicly musing about imposing new tariffs on Canadian imports.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said this week that she has told U.S. politicians that Canada would strongly oppose new tariffs — and would respond in kind.

Notley noted the issue is a long way from being settled.

“The border adjustment tax is still very much up in the air,” she said.

“Generally speaking, we’ll see the prime minister argue that the border adjustment tax applied to any sector will not be obviously helpful to Canadian exporters, but … that it will actually cause damage to American job creators and to American industry.”

Before she leaves, Notley will meet with members of the oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing sectors to gather information and advice on the best way to make Alberta’s case.

Trade between Alberta and the United States totalled more than $100 billion in 2015. About $80.6 billion worth of goods was sent to Americans from Alberta that year.

Industries that export to the U.S. include oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, manufacturing and utilities.

— By Dean Bennett in Edmonton

The Canadian Press

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