Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education with a difference: Teachers who think outside the box

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Summit overshadowed by geopolitical changes

Read more

Americas

Obama reassures Canada on trade

Video by Luke BROWN

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-02-20

Barack Obama is on his first international trip as US president, holding talks with Canadian leaders to quell fears that Washington is adopting a more protectionist stance on trade and to boost co-operation on environmentally sound energy technology.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he wanted to begin talks to add enforceable labour and environmental provisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement without disrupting trade.

 

"My hope is as our advisors and staffs and economic teams work this through that there's a way of doing this that is not disruptive to the extraordinarily important trade relationship that exists between the United States and Canada," Obama said at a joint news conference in Ottawa with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

 

Harper had expressed concern about the "Buy American" clause in the $787 billion economic recovery package Obama signed this week and sought assurances it would not discriminate against companies in Canada, which sends 75 percent of its merchandise exports to the United States.

 

"This is a huge risk to the world right now. If there is one thing that could turn a recession into a depression, it is protectionist measures across the world," Harper told CNN in an interview. 

 

The "Buy American" provision imposes a requirement that any public works project funded by the stimulus package use only iron, steel and other goods made in the United States. While Obama has stressed that the United States will comply with its international free trade obligations, Harper said last week he was concerned about the language.

 

Obama also expressed concern about the continent's automobile industry and said that it will need significant restructuring.

 

"We're deeply concerned about the current state of the North American auto industry," Obama said at the news conference.

 

Obama said his economic team was evaluating reports from Chrysler and General Motors on how the companies intend to move forward. "One thing we know for certain is that there is going to have to be a significant restructuring of that industry."

 

A White House official said the two countries will agree to work together on "clean energy" technology that Obama said this week would allow both countries to extract fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, while generating less pollution.

 

"It will include elements like carbon capture and sequestration and the smart grid," the White House official said of the agreement.

 

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for warming the Earth. Carbon sequestration involves capturing the gas and storing it underground before it enters the atmosphere.

 

 

Date created : 2009-02-20

COMMENT(S)