Oil-rich Alberta stresses benefits of U.S. trade

Legislative leader takes message of mutual benefit to trade meetings in New Mexico.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  April 20, 2017 at 6:01 AM
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April 20 (UPI) -- With U.S. trade policies a concern, a trade official from oil-rich Alberta said he aims to highlight the mutual benefits during Thursday meetings in New Mexico.

Chris Nielsen, a member of the Canadian legislative assembly, represents Alberta trade and development interests during meetings for the National Council of State Legislatures in New Mexico.

In outlining his itinerary, the provincial government said the leader would emphasize the importance of a collaborative approach to trade policy.

"Alberta and our partners in the United States have a long history of collaboration," he said in a statement. "Working with organizations like NCSL provides opportunities to strengthen trade relationships, and highlight the mutual benefit they provide, while we continue to advocate for Alberta's interests at a national level."

Nielsen's visit to the United States follows a report from analysis group IHS Markit that found regulatory delays for pipeline infrastructure and pledges from U.S. President Donald Trump to review North American trade agreements create uncertainties for the Canadian economy. Executive action taken by Trump aims to drive economic stimulus through domestic priorities.

Canada is the No. 1 oil exporter to the United States and remains relatively landlocked because of limited pipeline capacity extending outside the country. Options may evolve, however, with Trump embracing the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would reach from Alberta to the southern U.S. coast.

Canadian Trade Minister Deron Bilous is on a tour of Asia with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. On leaving earlier this week, the minister said Asian investors are "hungry" for Alberta products tied to industries like energy and agriculture.

The Canadian government in May issued a public call to weigh in on the possibilities of reaching a free-trade agreement with China. Bilateral trade with China would translate to economic expansion and job growth at home, the government said.

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