I’m so pleased that this trip, which is my first abroad since before the pandemic, has allowed me to finally meet you and Ambassador Tai [Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative] in person. I’m confident we can build on the momentum of our recent meetings to help our countries build back stronger and more resilient as we head toward economic recovery.
It has been nearly a year since I became minister of international development, and if this year has taught me anything, it is to reinforce how intricately connected our world is—from security to global health, inequality to climate change. Canada is intimately impacted by what is happening around the world.
On August 6, the United States announced its decision to re-impose unjustified and unacceptable section 232 tariffs on Canadian aluminum products. Let me be clear- those tariffs were unacceptable and unjustified.
CETA [Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement]—our free trade agreement with the European Union—had just entered into force, thanks to the foresight of Pierre-Marc Johnson, former premier of Quebec. We had also just signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. And today, as you know, we are finalizing the ratification of the new NAFTA.
Nearly 30 years ago, the Government of Canada dedicated the first week of February to highlighting the actions of Canadian international assistance workers striving to improve peoples’ lives and our planet’s well-being.