Diversifying trade must focus on like minds: Minister
Part of moving a larger portion of Canada's trade market away from the U.S. must include working with other nations who share Canada's perspective, according to the new trade diversification minister.
Jim Carr told The House international relationships will become increasingly important in the coming months — especially when it comes to oil and gas.
"The importance of expanding the export market is pretty obvious," he said.
Despite his mandate to diversify, Carr was in Pennsylvania this week to talk about trade and investment between the two countries.
When asked about focusing his attentions on Canada's southern neighbour, he said that's not the only trade outreach in the works.
"It's a big world out there," he said.
Canada will host a trade ministers' meeting in October to discuss the World Trade Organization. China and the U.S. have been left off the guest list.
The minister said Canada's focus is on working with nations who have similar goals, but wouldn't explicitly say whether he believed those two countries didn't fit the mould.
While meetings are ongoing, the NDP has asked the Liberals to start a task force to tackle tariffs.
The unpredictability of the U.S.-Canada relationship is hurting smaller companies, Tracey Ramsay, the party's trade critic, explained.
"There doesn't seem to be a clear path here," she said. "That's not a good situation for businesses."
While the president fires new insults at Canada almost weekly, Scotty Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council, says there is some consistency to be gleaned from that.
"I think he's pretty transparent, he wants a better deal for the United States," she said, adding it's time for Canada to come to the negotiating table willing to make concessions.
"The time for posturing is over."