PM Dismisses Klein's Criticism

Posted on Thursday, October 13 at 09:37 by jensonj
Martin was responding to criticism from Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, who said his province's petroleum isn't the prime minister's to sell. Martin slammed the U.S. for continuing to impose duties on Canadian softwood lumber while also suggesting that countries such as China and India are becoming a more lucrative market for Canadian oil that the U.S. needs. However, he and other government leaders have been careful in recent weeks not to directly link the softwood dispute with punishment for the United States on these other trade fronts. Washington is refusing to recognize the final ruling of a NAFTA panel that said U.S. duties on Canadian softwood are unwarranted. The Opposition, meanwhile, was calling for Martin to remind the United States of its legal obligation to comply with NAFTA rulings. "If the U.S. has some difficulty with that . . . then this is going to have repercussions," Conservative Leader Stephen Harper told reporters in Vancouver Wednesday. The U.S. has collected $5 billion in duties on softwood imports since May 2002, hurting Canadian companies which export lumber south of the border.


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