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Canada’s trade lobbying in the United States

The Globe and Mail reports that Canada’s ambassador to the United States “(Gary) Doer portrayed Canadian efforts (for a procurement deal with the US) as a hard slog that will require lobbying not just with the Obama administration, but with members of the U.S. Congress, state governors and city mayors, as well as American companies and unions.”

“The Harper government, along with provincial governments, have offered to guarantee U.S. bidders access to many areas of provincial and municipal spending in Canada, in return for an exemption from the Buy American clauses.”

“(Doer) called Canadian efforts to secure an exemption from the measures ‘a long-distance race,’ and said he won’t even try to guess when, if ever, a deal might be struck.”

Another Globe and Mail article today reports that, “Canada’s Washington embassy budgeted nearly $100,000 this year to pay for congressional staffers and state politicians to travel north of the border on the Canadian dime, according to documents obtained under the Access to Information Act by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin.”

“The embassy particularly wanted staffers or members of congressional committees responsible for homeland security or energy and climate change and budgeted $29,000 for the trips, the documents show.”

“Another $70,000 was budgeted to take eight ‘rising’ state legislators on tours across the Western provinces in June.”

According to the documents, “$50,000 was spent on a one-day congressional lobbying event to secure 80 meetings with staffers in congressional offices, or members of Congress.”

The reports are at http://theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/buy-american-battle-a-long-distance-race/article1334223/? and http://theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/how-canada-tries-to-get-washingtons-ear/article1334750/?.